Launch of the Heat Network Support Unit
28th September 2022

Today marks the launch of the new Heat Network Support Unit, a collaboration between the Scottish Government, Scottish Futures Trust and Zero Waste Scotland aiming to support heat network projects across Scotland through the pre-capital project development stages.

Patrick Harvie MSP, Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights,
announced the launch of the HNSU at an event today attended by more than 100 individuals representing the heat network sector in Scotland. This is what he had to say:

We know that we need to galvanise the heat network industry to rapidly grow and develop projects faster and more efficiently.

We also know the early stages of making projects viable and ready for investment can be daunting, and that projects need early stage support to become viable and investment-ready.

We must support and build capacity and expertise across the public and private sector in Scotland to develop and run successful heat networks.

That is why I’m delighted today to launch the Heat Network Support Unit.

The Unit will work primarily with public bodies to identify and support prospective heat network projects. We are working with our core partners, Scottish Futures Trust and Zero Waste Scotland, to offer guidance and expertise at each stage of a project’s development.

We will also offer financial support for projects that need it, to fund critical work, such as feasibility studies or business cases.

The Unit will provide a dedicated resource to support local authorities, registered social landlords and other developers to enable the development of heat decarbonisation projects at scale, including heat networks. 

This initiative has a lot to offer to projects across Scotland and I urge you to make the most of it.”

Kerry Alexander, Director for Infrastructure Finance and Programmes at Scottish Futures Trust,

Kerry Alexander - Scottish Futures Trust “Heat networks have a significant part to play in the decarbonisation of heat used in buildings.

The Heat Networks Support Unit will have a vital role in helping projects in development and will complement a wide range of other Scottish Government initiatives, including capital funding, regulation and supply chain development. 

Over the past ten years, SFT’s legal, financial and broader infrastructure delivery expertise has been used support to a number of heat network projects across Scotland and therefore we’re delighted to be a core partner in the Unit.

Working closely with Scottish Government, Zero Waste Scotland and project partners, we will be focused on increasing the pace and scale of deployment of heat networks to meet policy targets.”

Iain Gulland, CEO Zero Waste Scotland,

 “Scotland’s Heat in Buildings strategy sets out the ambition for the development of low and zero emissions heat networks (district heating and communal heating systems) and the launch of the Heat Network Support unit is a significant step in accelerating the uptake of these systems.

Zero Waste Scotland have been delivering technical support and specific project assistance for district heating since 2013 and are delighted to continue to support this work through our collaboration with the Heat Network Support Unit.”

We have launched the Heat Network Support Scotland website, which will act as the main forum of activity and contact for the HNSU.

You can find more information through the various resources available on site or you can get in contact at

We look forward to working with you.