Research and analysis

Evaluation of the Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU)

Research into how and to what extent HNDU activity assisted local authorities in their development of heat networks.

Documents

Evaluation of the Heat Networks Delivery Unit: interim report covering wave 1 research (March 2015)

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Evaluation of the Heat Networks Delivery Unit: wave 2, final report

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Details

CAG Consultants were commissioned by BEIS (then DECC) to undertake an evaluation of the Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU), a specialist unit established in 2013 to address the capability and capacity issues faced by local authorities (LAs) when developing heat networks.

The first wave focused on evaluating the process of the scheme delivery, the second provided a more qualitative, in-depth insight into the impact the policy is having on heat network development.

Wave 1

The first wave evaluation was published in March 2015 and is framed around the following research questions:

  • How, and to what extent, has the HNDU helped local authorities progress the development stages of low carbon heat networks?
  • What other factors or influences have driven progress by local authorities on low carbon heat networks?
  • What, if any, other barriers are local authorities encountering despite HNDU support – either already encountered or anticipated in future?
  • What is the demand for future skills and funding support after March 2015 for LAs at all stages of heat network development and building?
  • How effective were the arrangements for local authorities to engage with and access the HNDU fund?
  • What outputs have been delivered (by HNDU and local authorities) during the lifetime of HNDU funding?
  • What outputs and outcomes are projected to be delivered in the future for different local authorities, and how does this differ by area context and support received?

Interviews were conducted with local authority leads, consultants, HNDU staff and key stakeholders.

Wave 2

The second and final wave was published in April 2018, and focused on 3 main areas:

  1. understanding how the guidance was working, for whom, and under what circumstances
  2. the decision making process of local authorities, in terms of financing and operating networks
  3. stakeholder engagement experiences.

Interviews were conducted with local authority leads, consultants, HNDU staff and key stakeholders identified in the wave 1 research (NHS and housing developers).

Published 3 September 2015
Last updated 11 April 2018 + show all updates
  1. Final report published.
  2. First published.