Heat Networks Delivery Unit

Support and guidance for local authorities developing heat networks.


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 9 funding rounds – awarding £23 million in total – and is currently running Round 10. Over 250 unique projects have so far been supported across 150 local authorities.

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:

  • heat mapping
  • energy masterplanning
  • 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 Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) is a £320m capital investment programme providing support for the capital costs of heat networks.

The process

Local authorities 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. Eligible costs are defined as externally commissioned consultancy costs for heat network development work. HNDU funding comprises no more than 67% of eligible costs.

If successful, each local authority is supported by a team of specialists within HNDU.

Round 10

Round 10 is open from 1 May 2020 until midday 31 December 2020.

For details on how to apply, please see the HNDU Round 10 guidance.

HNDU round 10: guidance

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 are now publishing a quarterly HNDU project pipeline with accompanying spreadsheet summary.

Local authorities supported by HNDU

A map and list of the local authorities supported by the Heat Networks Delivery Unit in rounds 1-9:

Local authorities supported by the Heat Networks Delivery Unit in rounds 1-7: map

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Successful Local Authorities

Heat network guidance

Heat networks: guidance for developers and supply chain

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 1 May 2020 + show all updates
  1. Heat Networks Delivery Unit Round 10 opens 1 May 2020.

  2. HNDU Round 9 is now open.

  3. HNDU Round 8 opens 17 May.

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

  5. First published.