WIS Grant

When investing in heat networks in existing buildings

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Heat networks Investment Grant (WIS).

The Heat Networks Investment Grant is a Dutch grant scheme for the construction of new efficient heat networks (energy-efficient district heating and cooling). The grant is only for heat networks that make existing homes natural gas-free. The heat network then provides heating for spaces and hot tap water for the houses.

The recently published Voorjaarsnota contains important news in the field of heat networks. The government announced that it would release more than one billion euros to further support the heat network. These mainly relate to investments in the Heat Networks Investment Subsidy (WIS) and the establishment of a new Guarantee Fund. Specifically, 973 million euros will be allocated to the WIS, which will receive a total of 1.4 billion euros until 2030. Additionally, 215 million euros has been reserved for the Guarantee Fund, aimed at facilitating the financing of new heat networks. When the grant opens in 2024, further details will be announced about the conditions concerning the WIS grant scheme.

In short

WIS overview

For whom?

Heat companies and businesses that invest in the construction of a new heating network. Emphasis is placed on parties with advanced plans who can quickly start the construction of the heating network. Provinces or municipalities may participate in a project (as shareholders participating in such a business), but cannot receive grants themselves.

When to apply?

Submitting grant applications is possible from 1 June 2023 (9:00 am) until no later than 16 December 2023 (5:00 pm). Applications will be processed in order of receipt ("first come, first served"). There is no clarity yet on any further application rounds and budgets.

How much?

The grant reimburses a maximum of 45% of the project costs, or a maximum of 6,000 euros per realized small-scale consumer connection: the limit that is reached first applies as the maximum.

The grant never amounts to more than 20 million euros per project (heating network).

For what?

The grant is intended as an impulse to bridge the 'unprofitable top' of heating network investments (the difference between the eligible investment costs and the operating profit).

Overview of

WIS categories

The WIS grant is only possible for small-scale consumer and/or block connections in existing buildings. Heating networks serving both existing and new-build homes are allowed, but the new-build portion falls outside the grants. Heating networks aimed at both small-scale consumers and large-scale consumers (such as utility buildings/greenhouses/industry) are in principle allowed, but the large-scale consumer portion falls outside the grants (unless it concerns block connections).

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WIS Grant Criteria

We mention here some important grant conditions:

The project must consist of (own) investments in the construction of a new heating network. The project is not profitable without a grant.

The heating network must meet the requirements for energy-efficient urban heating and cooling (from point 124 of article 2 of the AGVV).

The heating network must be intended for small-scale consumer connections (maximum 100 kW) and/or block connections in existing buildings.

The heating network must provide heat to at least 250 small-scale consumer connections (spread over at least 5 buildings).

Within 1 year after the grant is granted, the applicant makes the final investment decision. Construction starts within 3 years, and realization is within 7 years.


Purpose of the WIS grant

New district heating networks in the built environment are important for achieving CO2 reduction targets. Their construction is often challenging because it typically involves investments with an “unprofitable top.” The WIS scheme aims to accelerate the construction of these networks by offering investment grants. The grant also prevents the costs of the unprofitable top from being passed on to end-users (through the BAK, contribution to connection costs). Other grant schemes may also be of interest for district heating networks, such as SDE++, EIA, ISDE, and SAH. EGEN can analyze these options and provide an estimate of the maximum grant income for each business case.

“In my role as a consultant at EGEN, my work encompasses a wide range of tasks throughout the entire lifecycle of European funding applications. My main areas of interest include water, environment and renewable energies. 

Contact Carol Trisorio ﹥





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