Combined Heat & Power, District Heating & Cooling, Demand Side Services, Energy Efficiency

Heat networks industry announces plan to create thousands of ‘green collar’ jobs

3 June 2020

The heat networks industry, which delivers heat to close to 500,000 customers across the country as an alternative to heating from individual gas boilers, has launched the Heat Networks Industry Council (HNIC) today at an online event with Energy and Clean Growth Minister, Kwasi Kwarteng MP.

The industry has set out its pledge to support £30-50bn of investment and the creation of up to 35,000 new direct jobs by 2050, with the right policy frameworks in place.

Minister for Energy and Clean Growth Kwasi Kwarteng said:

Heat networks will play a vital role in a future net-zero economy by helping to decarbonise how we heat our buildings while creating new green jobs.

The government’s £270m Green Heat Networks Fund underlines our support for the industry, and we back the new Heat Networks Industry Council to deliver on its ambitions for investment and job creation as part of reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

Dan McGrail, Chair of The Heat Networks Industry Council said:

The heat networks industry can play a big role in helping the UK reach our net zero carbon targets. The pandemic has caused a difficult economic situation but, today, our industry is setting out our shared ambition to create investment and jobs, accelerate carbon reduction, deliver consistent and excellent customer experiences and ultimately create smarter, more liveable cities across the country.

The industry council offer, detailed directly to government and launched at today’s event, includes the ambition to deliver:

  • Universal zero carbon heat networks by 2035;
  • The capability (investment, skills, supply chain) necessary for 18% of UK heat demand to be met through heat networks by 2050;
  • Up to 35,000 new direct jobs in the sector by 2050;
  • Investment of up to £50bn into the UK market by 2050;
  • City-wide strategic heat network plans for all major cities by 2030;
  • Consistent and excellent customer experience for all heat network users;
  • Efficient and low cost, digitally-enabled heat for all networks;

The heat networks industry council includes the spectrum of companies involved in the delivery of heat, including heat network providers to tens of thousands of customers. Founding members include Siemens, SSE Heat Networks, Veolia, EDF Energy, Energetik, Switch2, EON-UK, Vattenfall, Pinnacle Power, Vital Energi, Engie, Ramboll, Jeremy Bungey sitting as an Independent and Metropolitan. New HNIC members include Guru Systems, Insite Energy, London & Quadrant, Star Renewables, Uniper, Bristol Council, Enviroenergy and Viridor.

The council encourages heat network companies in the UK to sign up to the ask and offer of the Council.

At the launch of council today, moderated by Politico's Ryan Heath, industry members heard from; Polly Billington, Director of UK100, Doug Parr, Greenpeace Chief Scientist and Policy Director; and Lord Duncan of Springbank, who was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy from July 2019 to February 2020.

Dan McGrail, Chair of The Heat Networks Industry Council said:

We understand the economic challenges ahead of us as a country, which is why we want to do all that we can as the heat network industry to create jobs and investment. Our investment will generate jobs and will contribute to a sustainable economic transition in line with the United Kingdom's net zero targets.

According to research from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, the Climate Change Committee and the IPPR Economic Justice Commission, investing in non-gas boiler heating solutions is a top priority for sustainable investment that takes the country along the path to net zero.


Notes to the editor

  • More information and an infographic explaining the council ask and offer can be found here:
  • Heat networks deliver cost effective, low carbon heat in the form of hot water or steam, from a central point of generation to the end user through a network of insulated pipes. In the UK today there are around 14,000 heat networks, with significant plans for expansion as part of the broader commitment to meeting net zero carbon emissions.

 About the Heat Networks Industry Council

The Heat Networks Industry Council brings together leaders of the heat networks industry to support Government in achieving its vision of achieving a sustainable industry. The Council’s offer to Government identifies measures it can take to:

  • Create jobs and investment (focusing on the investment that could be unlocked by the sector, and the number and quality of jobs that will be created as a result)
  • Cut costs (to both those looking to invest in heat networks and customers supplied by a heat network)
  • Set out the industry’s commitment to decarbonisation
  • Create more liveable, smarter cities (including how it can support grid balancing services and flexibility and improve air quality)
  • Drive excellence in customer service and standards

The Council has been established by the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) who provide the Secretariat.

About the ADE

The Association for Decentralised Energy is setting the vision of a local, efficient, low carbon energy system which enables energy users to make the choices which work for them. The Association has more than 140 members active across a range of technologies and markets and is widely recognised as one of the leading industry bodies in the sustainable energy sector.

Spokespeople available for interview

Daniel McGrail, Heat Networks Industry Council Chair: Dan McGrail is the global CEO of Siemens Engines, which specialises in the design and manufacture of high efficiency gas engines for use in cogeneration applications such as heat networks. Dan has served on the board of directors of the ADE since 2014 and was Chair from 2016-2019.

Caroline Bragg, Head of Policy: Caroline leads the development of the ADE’s policy and regulatory work – working closely with members and policymakers to promote the sustainable development and decarbonisation of the decentralised energy sector in the UK. Caroline works across the Association’s key policy areas- heat networks, CHP generation, energy efficiency and grid flexibility – influencing key policy and regulatory developments in each.

Nathan Sanders, Industry Council member and Managing Director of SSE Enterprise Distributed Energy: Nathan has been Managing Director of SSE Enterprise Utilities since 2010; and has been with SSE for 30 years after originally joining as an apprentice electrician. He has since risen through several engineering, operational and managerial roles within SSE. Nathan is an incorporated engineer, and holds an MSc in Leadership. He is married with two children and lives near Sandhurst in Berkshire.

Further interviews with Council members are available on request.

For further information please contact:

Lucy Symons-Jones, Head of External Affairs, The ADE, [email protected]

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