District heating schemes are the future and have the potential to address the issue of fuel poverty, bringing considerable energy savings over the long term. Local authorities are at the heart of delivering such schemes due to their local knowledge, capacity for organisation, and key functions as planning authorities and service providers. However, installing a District Heating Network is capital intensive and there has been little in the way of government funding available to DHN owners towards implementing such schemes.

However, the Chancellor's Autumn Statement has just changed that. The Department of Energy and Climate Change has announced that it will provide over £300 million of funding for up to 200 heat networks which is expected to generate enough heat to support the equivalent of over 400,000 homes and leverage up to £2 billion of private capital investment.