July 7th 2023

Optimisation studies for heat network schemes

Optimisation studies for heat network schemes

Heat networks are fundamental when it comes to clean and cost-effective decarbonisation of UK heat to meet current net-zero targets. They can make use of energy that would otherwise be wasted, provide grid balancing services as the market moves towards electrification, and offer low carbon heat at competitive prices to households and businesses. There are over 14,000 existing communal or district heating networks estimated to be in operation throughout England and Wales.

Large scale investment is needed to keep the heat network market developing, and to address some of the challenges of decarbonising this sector. One part of the UK government’s Heat Network Transformation Programme (HNTP) is the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES), which supports improvements to existing public, private or third sector projects in England and Wales.

HNES & optimisation studies

Projects can apply to HNES for revenue grant funding, to fund third-party support to carry out optimisation studies of existing heat networks. 100% funding is available for projects between £15,000 and £24,000 per optimisation study. These funded studies can help to identify the causes of current sub-optimal performance in existing district or communal heat networks and provide recommendations on costed interventions and improvement measures. They can also be used when applying to HNES for capital grant funding, to demonstrate the eligibility of suggested improvement methods. IES are directly aligned to help with delivering such optimisation studies, through our consulting services, or use of our digital tools.

IES Consulting

Our consulting expertise in measuring, analysing and optimising building performance spans nearly 3 decades. Using our tried and tested process, combined with our leading simulation technology, our team can undertake your optimisation study and investigate exactly how your heat networks are performing. From this, we can help devise the optimal operation strategies and interventions required to deliver greatly improved outcomes for both customers and operators. The study will include optimisation recommendations, expected benefits, a cost appraisal of proposed intervention measures, as well as highlighting any instances of poor performance. 

iVN Intelligent Virtual Network Modelling Software

If you’re working on optimisation studies for clients, IES’ iVN Virtual Network tool offers leading district heating modelling capabilities that can help deliver these studies easily and accurately, saving you time, money and resource. iVN will help you deliver more accurate results as the tool has an accredited simulation engine (APACHE) embedded within this district heating network tool. This tool also avoids issues of oversizing and undersizing for district heating investment strategies that often result from using spreadsheets or simple calculation methods for this type of analysis.

iVN integrates accurate building energy demand data, either real or simulated using IES’ physics-powered APACHE engine, delivering a holistic view across both the buildings and the district heating infrastructure. Our tool also allows for an assessment of supply/demand, system infrastructure and generation sources to produce accurate analysis of intervention measures and cost-benefit analysis to improve the efficiency of your client’s district heating projects.

The deadline for Round 6 of HNES applications is Friday 2nd February 2024. If you’re interested in finding out more about how IES Software and Consulting Services can help you deliver optimisation studies for heat network scheme applications, please submit your details here.