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Heat Networks

September 2023

Heat networks will also have a crucial role to play in providing clean heat across Scotland. Heat networks are a form of infrastructure consisting of insulated pipes and heat generation which supplies thermal energy to multiple buildings from centralised power sources, rather than each property having its own heating system. There are two types of heat networks which differ by size: 

  • Community - typically supplying heat to one to two buildings.
  • District - supplying heat to multiple buildings or whole communities.

Heat networks are agnostic of fuel sources but allow more easily for the integration of renewable energy sources via heat pumps or the utilisation of surplus heat that would be otherwise wasted, and therefore can significantly cut emissions unachievable on a building-by-building basis. A critical advantage of district heating is that connecting multiple buildings creates economies of scale that enables the deployment of more efficient, resilient local energy resources. Excess heat is a large untapped source of energy. Many public buildings are located close to other sources of heat, such as data centres, supermarkets or underground stations. The (England and Wales) Public Building Energy Efficiency Report urges all public buildings with a large hot water demand to review waste water heat recovery technology, and see if it is retrofittable. Although there are currently only a small number of heat networks in Scotland, supplying only 1.5% heat, they are tried and tested technology used extensively across Europe. 

Read more here:

Heat Networks: National Targets and Key Current (and Expected) Policies


Heat Networks: Resources and Financial Support