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CBx Research Post-Launch Opportunities

The launch last Thursday of our report on how to improve the performance of existing Low Carbon Heat networks brings to an end Phase I of this CBxchange research project. Our breakfast launch event at the Bird & Bird offices in London was attended by delegates from across the heat networks industry. Special thanks go to David Mason of Skanska for chairing the event, and to Dan Jestico of Hilson Moran, Rhianna Wilsher of Bird & Bird and Stephen Edwards of Catalyst Housing for presenting their views on technical, contractual and behavioural post-implementation measures, respectively.

Our research found that heat networks installed in the UK may not be operating at their full potential due to a range of issues, leading to lower carbon savings and higher energy bills for customers. Our report comes at a time when The Energy and Climate Change Committee has announced that the UK is not yet halfway towards its 2020 target of achieving 12% of heat from renewable energy. It is also coincides with the Government’s plans to increase heat network capacity by increasing investment through the HNIP. The report demonstrates that there are still opportunities to improve networks that are already installed rather than focusing only on building new capacity. Improving existing networks could be a cost-effective approach to help the UK Government reach its climate change targets.

Our launch event provided an overview of our research findings and a presentation on each of our three themes for post-implementation fixes: technical, contractual and behavioural measures. As always, our Q&A session after the presentations brought up some interesting conversations and an opportunity for different industry stakeholders to express their opinions. Key discussions included the pros and cons of self-regulation, the sizing of schemes for electricity generation and sale, ESCos and monopolies and fixed/variable charges.

We have received huge interest in taking forwards specific issues raised in Phase I of the research. In response to this demand, we are excited to announce Phase II of the project, which will dig deeper on key areas, with the aim of ‘operationalising’ the findings. On 7th December, we will be holding a roundtable event with Dr Alan Whitehead, MP for Southampton Test and Member of the Environmental Audit Committee. This discussion will develop and enhance Phase II. Stay tuned for more information, or contact us at info@cbxchange.com if you would like to join Phase II.

Finally, in keeping with the CBx mission to share knowledge and break down silos, we are making the report publicly available for viewing and download. You can do that here.