Decarbonising heat – are heat networks the answer?


The Department for the Economy has published its proposals for a market framework for heating networks that aims to drive forward low-carbon heat networks’ growth. Heating is currently responsible for 24% of Northern Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions, and heating networks could offer a cost-effective mechanism to reduce emissions in a way that also benefits consumers.

There are currently only around 100 heat networks in NI, providing heating and hot water to approximately 3,000 consumers. The consultation proposes giving heat network developers equivalent statutory rights and undertakings similar to other utilities. It also suggests the Utility Regulator for Northern Ireland (UR) should be given oversight and enforcement powers across quality of service, provision of information and pricing arrangements for all domestic heat network consumers.

RSUA will be responding to the consultation and the official consultation document can be found here.  The closing date for responses is 5pm on 13 February 2022.

To share your views on this important consultation please contact the RSUA’s Policy and Public Affairs Officer, Emmet Doyle on no later than 5pm on Thursday 20 January.