Heat Networks Delivery Unit: Round 13 open to applications

Support and guidance for local authorities developing heat networks.

Applies to England and Wales

Update: May 2023

Round 13 is open to applications, closing 31 December 2023.

Local authorities have a key role to play in making heat networks succeed. Their involvement, particularly in the development stages, can help realise the benefits of heat networks, while also delivering jobs and growth. In order to address the capacity and capability challenges which local authorities identified as barriers to heat network deployment in the UK, the government set up the Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU) in 2013.

The Heat Networks Delivery Unit provides grant funding and guidance to local authorities in England and Wales for heat network project development.

Since its inception, HNDU has run 12 funding rounds – awarding £33.8 million in total – and is currently running Round 13. Over 300 unique projects have so far been supported across 188 local authorities.

As of Round 12, HNDU expanded the organisations it supports to additionally fund:

  • registered social landlords
  • NHS Trusts
  • universities
  • other government departments
  • property developers

By extending HNDU funding support 3 years in advance of legislation coming into force to organisations most likely to participate in a heat network zone, such organisations will be better able to plan for that eventuality and help bring some of the networks within future zones to market in advance. This should increase the number of credible projects originated through HNDU support as the key anchor loads themselves will be advancing the projects.

See the overview of government support for heat networks.


The Heat Networks Delivery Unit provides support to local authorities in England and Wales through the early stages of heat network development:

  • techno-economic feasibility
  • detailed project development

HNDU support does not provide funding for commercialisation costs and costs associated with the construction, operation and maintenance of a heat network. The Green Heat Network Fund is a £288 million capital investment programme providing support for the capital costs of heat networks.

The process

Local authorities and other eligible organisations apply for HNDU support through bidding rounds. All bids are reviewed by HNDU assessors before final recommendations are approved by a panel of financial, commercial and policy specialists.

Grant funding is provided to successful local authorities under Section 31 of the Local Government Act and other applicants under Section 98 of the National Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. Eligible costs are defined as externally commissioned consultancy costs for heat network development work. HNDU funding comprises no more than 67% of eligible costs, with the exception of project management costs which may be fully funded by HNDU for public sector applicants and registered social landlords – please see published Round 13 guidance.

If successful, each local authority is supported by a team of specialists within HNDU. Other applicant organisations will receive HNDU specialist support to the extent it is assessed necessary by either the applicant or HNDU and sufficient resource is available.

Apply for Round 13

Round 13 is open from 15 May 2023 until midday 31 December 2023.

For details on how to apply, read the HNDU Round 13 guidance:

HNDU round 13: guidance (PDF, 406 KB, 20 pages)

For more information on this or previous funding rounds, please see relevant documents on this page below or email To request an application form, please email

HNDU Pipeline

We publish a quarterly HNDU project pipeline with accompanying spreadsheet summary.

Local authorities supported by HNDU

Successful local authorities, rounds 1-12 (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 36.4 KB)

Heat network guidance

Heat networks: guidance for developers and supply chain

Template financial model

Evaluation of the Heat Networks Delivery Unit: Part 2 published April 2018

The future of heating: meeting the challenge, March 2013

Published 15 September 2017
Last updated 16 May 2023 + show all updates
  1. Round 13 is open, closing on 31 December 2023.

  2. Round 12 dates and guidance added.

  3. Heat Networks Delivery Unit Round 10 opens 1 May 2020.

  4. HNDU Round 9 is now open.

  5. HNDU Round 8 opens 17 May.

  6. HNDU Pipeline documents removed from this page and republished here:

  7. First published.