Inner Hero banner Image

Heat Networks

Heat networks expertise

Heat networks distribute heat from a central source to multiple properties and are usually a cheaper and greener alternative to traditional gas-fired boilers in each property. An on-site energy centre generates hot water or steam, which is then pumped through underground pipes to provide space heating and hot water within the properties. Often, heat is supplied alongside cooling and private wire electricity.

They come in many guises and are otherwise known as district heating schemes, communal heating schemes and combined heat and power (“CHP”) projects. Investing in heat networks is seen as a vital part of the transition to net zero by 2050 with The Government looking to expand their use almost tenfold by 2050 in order to help meet its carbon reduction targets.

Some heat networks are large enough to attract an energy services company (“ESCO”) on a full-risk basis. Others simply outsource one or more services, such as operation, maintenance, metering, billing, tariff setting and customer services. Some schemes are best served by a hybrid of the two.

The heat networks sector is at the start of a major transition, facing its first wholesale regulation with the introduction of the Energy Act 2023 which establishes a new regulatory framework for heat suppliers and operators in the UK. The Act aims to enhance sustainability and decarbonisation by ensuring efficient and compliant heat networks, moving away from fossil fuels like gas-fired CHP towards renewable generation such as heat pumps, biomass, recovered heat, geothermal heat and hydrogen.

We can guide you through the potential impact of both incoming regulation and decarbonisation on existing contracts and future-proofing for the inevitable changes.

We support across all phases of a project, including:

Structuring, planning & regulatory

Infrastructure, design & build ESCO/service provider procurement
Contract negotiation & grant of land rights Board approval Implementation & team training

Get in touch

Why choose our Heat Networks team?

Why choose our Heat Networks team?

We offer a full service covering any legal aspect of a heat network project, including Real Estate, Corporate, Sustainable development, Banking and finance, Environment, Public Procurement, Construction, Planning and Tax.

Jackie Heeds, a recognised leader and recommended lawyer by Legal 500 (2024), leads our team of experts advising both public and private sector clients on various aspects of heat networks. Jackie was also shortlisted as part of the Legal 500 Northern Powerhouse Awards 2024 for the Lawyer of the Year award.

We advise on project of all types and sizes, including:

  • Long-term ESCO concession agreements where all risk is passed to the ESCO
  • Outsourced services agreements for heat metering, billing, tariff-setting, operation and maintenance
  • Hybrid schemes where some but not all risk is passed to the ESCO
  • Connections into existing heat networks
  • Multi-development networks
  • Retrofitting networks
  • Customer Supply Agreements
  • Housing Association Supply Agreements
  • Private wire electricity supply and export arrangements
  • Cooling supply arrangements

We can assist if you are:

  • A property developer, landowner, local authority or housing association installing or connecting into a heat network
  • An ESCO or service provider looking to offer heat services
  • A site owner looking to retrofit a heat network
  • A landlord or other heat supplier keen to understand how to ensure compliance with incoming heat regulation
  • A sustainability officer looking into sustainable development
  • An investor looking for new asset classes / investment opportunities
  • Considering heat networks and decarbonisation of heat as part of your sustainability strategy
  • A manufacturer or other industrial business looking to recover and use your waste heat
  • An industrial site owner looking to install a heat network
  • An energy from waste operator looking to sell recovered heat
  • A contractor in the heat network supply chain
  • Establishing a community energy project

Watch our latest webinars

  • Heat Networks - Part 1

    We hosted a follow up webinar discussing the decarbonisation and impending regulation of heat networks, and were joined by Barn Evans, Director at Turley and Arran Morning, Head of Heat Network policy at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy:

    Heat Networks – Part 1 – an intro and hot topics – YouTube >

    Image of pipes
  • Heat Networks - Part 2

    We hosted a follow up webinar discussing the decarbonisation and impending regulation of heat networks, and were joined by Barny Evans, Director at Turley and Arran Morning, Head of Heat Network policy at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy:

    Heat Networks – Part 2 – decarbonisation and regulation – YouTube >

     

     

    Image of field

Meet our team

Chris Freeston's Profile

Chris Freeston

Nottingham Office Managing Partner & National Head of Banking & Finance

Jackie Heeds's Profile

Jackie Heeds

Partner & Joint Lead of Major Projects

Get in touch

Contact us today

Whatever your legal needs, our wide ranging expertise is here to support you and your business, so let’s start your legal journey today and get you in touch with the right lawyer to get you started.

Telephone

Get in touch

For general enquiries, please complete this form and we will direct your message to the most appropriate person.