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Decentralised energy support

We provide independent, technology-neutral advice and expertise to public bodies in the UK and internationally that want to investigate and progress decentralised energy projects, such as district heating, district cooling, and local energy generation.

Decentralised energy

Decentralised energy support

The Carbon Trust decentralised energy team consists of 10 experts who can help local authorities to:

  • Improve the viability of a scheme through stakeholder management, planning policy support, financial & commercial modelling, and technical advice.
  • Access specialist technology expertise through our broader team and network of Carbon Trust Associates, including leading district heating industry experts in the UK and Scandinavia.
  • Build capacity and transfer knowledge through guidance, delivery of workshops and presentations in order to up-skill local authority staff and help prepare them for the delivery of decentralised energy projects.

Local Energy Networks

We can provide the capacity and knowledge needed to assist local authorities with:

Decentralised energy support
Decentralised Energy process

Stakeholder management


  • Develop a strategy and engage effectively with your key stakeholders to secure buy-in and reduce project risk.
  • Apply our unique, proprietary excel-based Stakeholder Management model to establish the engagement strategy as well as capture and report on engagement outcomes using a refined 5-step approach to stakeholder management tested and modified across a portfolio of more than 17 heat network projects within the UK.

Planning Policy Support


  • Advise on the use of planning policy as an enabler for district heating and cooling, supporting in energy statement evaluation and developer negotiation meetings.
  • Support you to design and implement effective planning policy to enable the growth of heat networks and engage positively with local developers, including amending existing policies and drafting new policies from scratch.

Financial & Commercial Modelling


Financial modelling

  • Use our comprehensive decentralised energy discounted cash flow models tailored to local authority financial departments which have been constructed based on our support provided to over 20 local authority projects.
  • Help identify a wide range of investment options, including alternate sources of finances such as crowd-funding and community energy financing.
  • Our heat network cashflow model can be used to quality assure and test existing cashflow estimates and to help inform decisions on the optimal ownership and investment structures.  The model template is freely available for internal use to all UK public sector bodies - get in touch to find out more.

Commercial and business model advice

  • Help local authorities and public sector bodies to select appropriate business models and governance structures.
  • Provide independent advice on procurement routes and help you understand how this can drive the delivery of your strategic objectives.

Technical Advice


Practical, procurement, and project management support

  • Develop and write tender specifications, advise on suppliers, and evaluate tenders and study outputs.
  • Support local authorities to engage with the district heating market in the UK and internationally.
  • Project manage Heat Mapping, Energy Masterplanning and Techno-Economic studies, supervising and quality assuring all outputs from technical consultants.
  • Provide practical, hands-on support running workshops and deliver light touch strategic advice.

Technical quality assurance

  • Provide technical quality assurance of outputs from technical consultants and advice on the next steps following each project stage, helping local authorities avoid consultant-dependency.

Verifying carbon savings

  • Help local governments to assess and verify the carbon impact of existing or planned decentralised energy schemes, as well as providing advice on the most energy efficient and low carbon options.
  • Help network owners identify and understand the factors affecting network performance and how its operating characteristics compare to networks with similar characteristics and scale.  

We can support you through each of the 10 steps in the decentralised energy project development process.

10-step decentralised energy project development process

Case studies

The Carbon Trust has already successfully provided similar support to local authorities around the UK, including:

  • Stratford-upon-Avon Council
  • Wakefield District Council
  • Crawley Borough Council
  • Horsham District Council
  • Runnymede Borough Council
  • Scottish Government
CIBSE Heat Networks Consultant

Contact us

We can also provide support in completing HNDU and LCITP applications. For more information please contact us:

Emma Ashcroft -
Helen Andrews Tipper -
Jonathan Williams -

District energy in cities initiative

Partner of the

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