District Heating Initiatives

Our research is centrally concerned with the policy knowledge and instruments required to support sustainable, affordable, energy-saving heating and thermal comfort. With this objective, we work interactively with public, private and community promoters of low carbon heat projects as they develop, enabling shared learning in relation to governance, leadership, management and financial expertise. 

We are co-conveners of an urban energy Vanguards’ Network, with 65 UK local authorities (LAs) and housing associations (HAs). The network also includes government officials, social enterprises, district energy suppliers, and legal and finance practitioners. We have held four very well attended urban energy workshops, in Edinburgh, London, Sheffield and most recently Glasgow with plans taking shape for further events. We are also the academic partners for the City of Edinburgh Council in the EU-funded Cascade (Cities Exchanging on Local Energy Leadership) consortium, concerned with development of the city’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan. The consortium includes 19 European cities. In addition we are contributing to UK and Scottish Government policy formation for low carbon and sustainable heat. We are one of the consortium members carrying out research on behalf of the UK Government Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) into barriers to deployment of district heating networks. We work with the Scottish Government Directorate of Energy and Climate Change through the Sustainable Heat Partnership Project and Jan Webb is a member of the Expert Commission on Delivery of District Heating.

The Vanguards’ Network facilitates communication between members, shares good practice, addresses common problems, and brings core members together with representatives of central and devolved government, industry, universities and third sector organisations. The network also produces a monthly newsletter on UK and international district energy developments. The Network is open to all UK local authorities and housing associations who are developing district energy. For more information, please contact dave.hawkey@ed.ac.uk.

Previous Workshops:


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