Twenty-four local authorities across England and Wales have been awarded more than £2.1 million to support the development of heat network projects.

This was revealed as Minister of Energy & Climate Change Greg Barker today (26 March) announced the latest round of successful projects through the Heat Networks Delivery Unit, which will provide heating to local homes and businesses through new projects using a range of low-carbon technologies.

The 24 winning local authorities are:

“This is another step the Coalition government is taking to help drive down the long-term cost of energy bills,” said Mr Barker. “Heat networks are a defining part of our smarter, cleaner energy future.

“Local authorities are looking at innovative ways to supply low-carbon heat to a range of buildings such as multi-storey apartments, office buildings and social housing.”

All bids were reviewed by a panel of engineering, financial and commercial experts with significant experience in heat networks development. Bids were assessed against a range of criteria including technical feasibility, commercial viability, future carbon saving and social benefits.

The remaining pot of grant funding, worth £7 million in total, will be allocated through subsequent funding rounds, running to March 2015. Round 3 opens on 12 May 2014 and closes on 27 June 2014. The successful third round of local authorities will be announced by in August/September 2014.