Policy Forum for Wales

For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk, or contact us: +44 (0)1344 864796.

Next steps for heat and heat networks in Wales

Morning, Friday, 26th April 2024

This conference will discuss next steps for heat and heat networks in Wales.

It will be an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to examine key issues for implementation of the finalised Heat strategy for Wales, and the Welsh Government’s wider plans for the transition to low carbon and sustainable heating as part of net zero emissions targets.

Delegates will discuss what will be needed to develop an enabling framework for sustainable and efficient heat networks, capable of supplying both industry and domestic properties.

Areas for discussion include options for heat pumps and strategies for decarbonising heating, including repurposing and expanding existing infrastructure, strengthening distribution networks, the development and uptake of innovative technologies, and establishing local, community-based energy plans.

The agenda looks at energy efficiency in homes, including approaches for improving the energy performance of the Welsh housing stock and delivery of energy-saving solutions.

Delegates will consider issues for consumers following the launch of the Welsh Government’s replacement of its Warm Homes Nest scheme this month, assessing policy options for securing affordable heat and tackling fuel poverty.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with: Rhiannon Phillips, Head of Domestic Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty, Welsh Government; Ed Sheriff, Deputy Director for Energy, Welsh Government; Richard Halsey, Innovation Director, Catapult Energy Systems; Mike Pitts, Deputy Challenge Director, Net Zero Heat, Innovate UK; and a senior speaker confirmed from City Science.

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • Heat Strategy for Wales:
    • progress on targets outlined in the draft strategy - focus on consumer protection - utilisation and development of local, community-based energy plans
    • what will be needed to achieve the aim of net zero heat across all sectors in Wales by 2050
  • implementation: assessing investment, infrastructure and connectivity needs - putting in place enablers for the decarbonisation of heat - grid development
  • just transition:
    • energy costs and implications for consumers and suppliers - options for policy to support key stakeholders in achieving a just transition to low carbon heating
    • support for businesses to transition to sustainable energy sources, low carbon heat solutions and net zero building
  • key challenges: the transition from fossil fuels - reducing energy demand - developing place-based approaches - renewing housing stock - replacing outdated equipment - priorities for innovation
  • decarbonising homes: housing standards across private, rented and social housing sectors - innovation in renewable heat technology - future-proofing with low carbon and cleaner fuels
  • supply chain: identifying and addressing supply chain challenges - attracting investment
  • addressing fuel poverty: the new Warm Homes Programme - further options for reducing the percentage of fuel poor households across Wales
  • skills: establishing a local, skilled workforce to implement and maintain low-carbon heat technologies - training and recruitment opportunities to meet the skills needs of the sector

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders to consider the issues alongside key policy officials who are due to attend from the Welsh Government; DESNZ; NIC; UKIB; DBT; and the Department of Finance, NI.

Keynote Speakers

Ed Sherriff

Deputy Director for Energy, Welsh Government

Mike Pitts

Deputy Challenge Director, Net Zero Heat, Innovate UK

Richard Halsey

Innovation Director, Catapult Energy Systems

Keynote Speakers

Mike Pitts

Deputy Challenge Director, Net Zero Heat, Innovate UK

Rhiannon Phillips

Head of Domestic Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty, Welsh Government

Anna Lawson

Principal Energy Consultant, City Science

Ed Sherriff

Deputy Director for Energy, Welsh Government

Richard Halsey

Innovation Director, Catapult Energy Systems


Gareth John

Sector Lead, Energy, Infrastructure, Education and Creative Industries, Department for Business and Trade


Maya Fitchett

Policy Analyst, National Energy Action

Matt Hindle

Head of Net Zero and Sustainability, Wales & West Utilities

Becky Pask

Green Skills Research Officer, Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion

Ben Godfrey

Director of Distribution System Operator, National Grid Electricity Distribution

Professor Karen Henwood

School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University

Christopher Jofeh

Chair, Implementation Group on the Decarbonisation of Existing Housing; and Board Member, Tai Calon Community Housing

Faye Patton

Policy and Project Manager, Care & Repair Cymru

Matthew Hodges

Associate Director, Net Zero and Sustainability, AtkinsRéalis

Mathijs van Steen

Director of Industrial Solutions, Gradyent

Louise Singleton

Principal Consultant, Gemserv

Joanne Wade

Chief Strategic Advisor, The Association for Decentralised Energy