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New call for Expressions of Interest for funding to research two priority areas within the EPSRC Network for the Decarbonisation of Heating and Cooling.

 The Network for Heating and Cooling Research to Enable a Net-Zero Carbon Future (H+C Zero Network) has been established by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to maximise the impact of UK-funded research and innovation. It is formed by a research partnership between Durham University, Oxford University, Brunel University London, Heriot-Watt University, University of Leeds and Northumbria University.

This is the first call for Expressions of Interest in applying for funding to explore 1 of the below two priority research areas.

1. The economics of the future heating and cooling sector.


The decarbonisation of heating and cooling is expected to require significant changes to UK’s established energy infrastructure from generation/production, distribution and use. It is expected to an impact on every industry, business and home. This transition is expected to have a positive impact on jobs, skills, manufacturing capacity etc. across the wider supply chain including into the service sectors. This project should aim to assess and quantify the wider economic benefits of building a net-zero compatible heating and cooling sector out to 2050. Based on the Investigator's choice of a published state-of-the-art net-zero energy strategic plan for our net-zero transition, it should consider the opportunity for local and national wealth creation by estimating the corresponding number of jobs that would be created in implementing this plan. It should determine the skills required for these jobs, regions/locations, timings etc. It should quantify the size of the opportunity for the UK as a whole, UK-based technology installers, manufacturers, research and development organisations (including academia) for the UK and for export.  (Note: Quantifying the economic impact in terms of environmental or other factors is considered out of scope).

 2. Tackling fuel poverty in a net-zero world.

A portfolio of heating technologies is expected to be deployed to deliver on net-zero emission targets in the 2030-2050 timescales. Mass-scale heat decarbonisation of existing residential buildings is likely to involve a significant scale-up in the demand for hydrogen and electricity-based heating systems in our homes. Nevertheless, it is widely considered that the total cost of ownership (installed heating system, additional insulation costs etc. plus operating costs) of future heating systems is likely to be greater than that of an existing fossil-based system. This brings forward the likelihood that an increasing number of households will be pulled into fuel poverty. Based on this scenario, this project should aim to put forward a practical model of how fuel poverty could be minimised in the UK whilst simultaneously delivering upon net-zero targets. It should bring forward solutions/interventions which are practical (technically and within the frameworks of governance/regulation), are compatible with the political environment, can be communicated effectively to policymakers and can be used to shape future policy in this area. The strategy should ensure a just transition towards heat decarbonisation across the communities and regions.

Further guidance on the call can be found here: Call guidance 

The Application form is here: Application form

The total amount of funding across the two areas is £100,000 fEC (£80,000)

The deadline for applications is 27th July at 17:00