Climate Action

UK Power Networks launches ‘Heat Street’ map to help communities reach Net Zero

UK Power Networks is launching a new project to help local communities map out their Net Zero carbon future, at street level.

  • 18 August 2020
  • Rachel Cooper

UK Power Networks is launching a new project to help local communities map out their Net Zero carbon future, at street level.

‘Heat Street’ will take a data-driven look into the future to help local authorities in London, the South and East of England plan systems to cater for a significant rise in low carbon heating and energy efficiency measures, like better insulation. 

According to UK Power Networks, heating accounts for about a third of UK carbon emissions – almost 120 million tonnes of CO2 according to official estimates.

Now the network operator will engage with property owners, local councils, property developers, businesses, academics and consumer groups to work out how specific local areas can best remove carbon from one of the country’s biggest emitters – heating.

Ian Cameron, Head of Customer Services and Innovation at UK Power Networks, said: “We all know why we need to rapidly decarbonise heating - this project is about working out the ‘how’. We’re excited to be getting out there and collaborate to decarbonise heat, bringing together people from all backgrounds to create a local street level map of net zero heating pathways by 2050.”

UK Power Networks’ engineers will analyse energy efficiency trends and carry out heat zoning assessments by combining information about the properties, homes and socio-economics of each area. This will enable engineers and strategists to create custom forecasts to identify the most efficient pathway to zero carbon heating, and even produce bespoke plans for specific local areas.

The project will consider a broad range of low carbon heating alternatives, including switching from gas boilers to electric heat pumps, installing cavity wall insulation, switching to another type of heating supply, or combinations of all. For the first time, Heat Street will create a model for forecasting uptake of the different technologies that can be followed by other parts of the UK.

Charlotte Owen, Policy Manager at The Association for Decentralised Energy, said: “UK Power Networks’ innovative “Heat Street” project will help to demonstrate the opportunities presented by a local, zoned approach to heat decarbonisation. It will provide real examples of how we can strategically decarbonise our homes and buildings, whilst recognising that different local areas will take different pathways to net zero.”