Morning, Thursday, 25th June 2020
THIS EVENT IS CPD CERTIFIED
***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference will assess next steps for developing heat networks in the UK - looking at market development, investment, infrastructure and the future of policy and regulation.
We also expect discussion to reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic - and to look ahead at priorities for ensuring that recovery strategies incorporate climate action and renewable energy.
Key areas for discussion:
Developing the market and delivering the policy guidance that the sector needs, as well as:
- reducing market complexity, fostering competition, and bringing district heating supply into established energy markets with a level playing field,
- improving transparency and reducing barriers to entry and reducing developer risk,
- developing sector standardisation, and
- encouraging sharing of best practice and local collaboration.
Investment and building investor confidence, as well as:
- reducing administrative costs and delivery barriers,
- developing the business case and setting clear roles for sector stakeholders, and
- the extended Heat Networks Investment Project and securing long-term private investment in district heating.
Regulation and what a fit-for-purpose regulated system looks like, including:
- ensuring that consumers are protected and treated fairly - contract transparency, quality standards, supplier conduct, and equivalence with other utility regulation,
- creating quality design standards for existing and new build housing stock, including in privately rented accommodation, and
- voluntary and independent heat sector standards - lessons learnt, and the feasibility of translating rules on developer and supplier responsibilities to a national scale.
Infrastructure - and overcoming the physical challenges around the delivery of heat infrastructure, looking at:
- working with local stakeholders to integrate infrastructure systems and connect dwellings, as well as to reduce delivery and material costs, and
- connecting old housing stock to district heating systems, and steps for decarbonising existing buildings through retrofitting.
Making fuel supply low-carbon, looking at:
- switching to hydrogen and biomethane,
- the role of energy suppliers in transition, and
- the potential impact on consumer bills.
Developments that are relevant to the discussion:
- Announcements in the Budget of further support affecting heat networks and decarbonised heating, including:
- An extension of the Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) by a year to 2022, and an additional £270m of funding to support new projects;
- The introduction of a Low Carbon Heat Support Scheme to accelerate delivery of heat pumps and biomass boilers; and
- Creation of Green Gas Levy to support the use of greener fuels like biomethane across the gas grid.
- The Government’s recently released consultation on designing a heat networks market framework, which identifies multiple pathways for fostering sector growth - including:
- Legislative changes to enable developers the same rights shared by other utility providers; and
- Improving the reputation of the sector by leveraging public and private project investment and building cross-sector engagement.
- Policy priorities for developing UK heat networks - setting guidance, funding support, and establishing industry confidence;
- Supporting long-term district heating investment - reducing market uncertainty, utilising public funding, and creating conditions for private sector engagement;
- Developing the business case and overcoming challenges for district heating - creating development standards, risk transparency, and a clear process for projects;
- Creating a competitive long-term heat market - improving accessibility, local engagement, and reducing delivery barriers;
- Priorities for delivering heat network infrastructure - local connections, working with planners, and reducing material costs;
- Decarbonising heat supply, and addressing challenges for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050;
- Next steps for connecting households to the heat system, reducing consumer bills, and innovating low-carbon heat; and
- Establishing an effective regulatory framework for heat networks in the UK:
- Setting codes and standards for heat consumers, and steps for applying into a regulated model;
- Establishing transparency, expectations for consumer quality, and stakeholder accountability; and
- Designing appropriate regulation - standards, customer protection, and alignment with other utility markets.
Policy officials attending:
Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.
This one’s no different. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Lords and the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology, and officials from the MHCLG; Ofgem; BEIS; Defra; the Health and Safety Executive; the Department for International Trade; the Environment Agency and the Welsh Government.
This is a full-scale conference taking place online***
- full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
- information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
- conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
- speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
- opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
- a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
- delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
- networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!
Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference