Scotland's Heat Network Fund: application guidance

Information on the Heat Network Fund, including eligibility and how to apply.

After you apply 

Application process 

The application process can take up to 3 months to complete, subject to you providing all of the required information.

Your completed application will be assessed by a panel consisting of Scottish Government officials with technical and financial experts. Projects submitting applications will be assessed against the eligibility criteria and budget availability. 

If the panel decide that your application does not meet the SHNF’s eligibility requirements and mandatory criteria, we will give you feedback on the reasons for this. Scottish Government officials will offer a dialogue with project leads to assist where possible with the development of the project towards a position where a SHNF grant could be offered.  

If the application passes the panel, it may be subject to due diligence checks undertaken by our due diligence contractor to ensure information provided is accurate and robust. The findings of the due diligence process may require further evidence to be provided or can result in a decision not to offer grant funding unless the project’s circumstances change. 


Your applications will be scored by a panel based on the answers in your application form and supporting evidence which shows that the project will meet the SHNF’s mandatory criteria. The scoring system is:  

Quality of evidence provided 

Scoring methodology for quality criteria 

0 - poor/unacceptable

Nil or inadequate response. Fails to demonstrate the required criteria has been met.

1- acceptable

Response is relevant and acceptable. The response broadly meets the required criteria but may lack some detail or evidence. Panel is satisfied this detail can be provided on request.

2 - good

Response is comprehensive, sufficiently evidenced and demonstrates how the criteria will be met.

Achieving a particular score does not guarantee a formal offer of support. Any offer will be subject to the conclusion of formal legal missives. Scottish Ministers reserve the right not to award any support at all under this programme. 

To be successful, you must receive a minimum score of 1 on each criterion. SHNF grants are provided for the funding gap of the project only (up to 50% of total CAPEX) and a higher score does not indicate that a higher level of grant can be provided. Further due diligence checks will be carried out after the appraisal panel and, therefore, further information may be required before progressing with the grant offer.

Project leads will be notified of the final decision and, if successful, grants will be offered on the condition that a formal grant offer letter is agreed. The process of agreeing a grant offer letter requires input and review from the grantee (to confirm milestone dates etc.) before progressing to final signing by both parties.

The length of time to review an application can take on average three to six months. This depends on the time taken to gather sufficient evidence to allow full consideration of the application. The Scotland’s Heat Network Fund team will aim, wherever possible, to ensure project timescales are not impacted by the application process. EOIs and application forms should be submitted as early as possible to avoid delay.

Changes in circumstances 

Any changes in circumstances, which would affect your project’s eligibility to apply to be supported through SHNF, must be reported to the SHNF Team immediately. Failure to do so may lead to the application being rendered invalid and support being withdrawn. 

Programme rules

The following rules form part of the agreement between your business and SHNF. Please ensure that you fully understand and accept these.

The lead organisation:

  • and the SHNF team must jointly agree an approach to the nature and frequency of communication between Scottish Government and the project lead to ensure that the SHNF team are adequately informed of the project's situation 
  • agrees to confirm in writing acceptance of any offer of grant funding from Scotland’s Heat Network Fund and agrees that the offer is not binding until both the project lead and Scottish Government have signed the grant offer letter
  • must ensure that proper and early warning is provided to the SHNF team of any problems/delays/changes that may be developing with the organisation/project 

If your application is successful

If your application is successful you will be able to claim your grant once you have demonstrated that eligible spend has occurred. You will need to provide evidence including invoices to show spend on eligible capital items and a bank statement to show payment to the relevant payee.  

You must demonstrate your continue to meet the conditions of the grant before claiming. 

You will be provided with further guidance on the grant claim process after a grant offer letter has been agreed.            


Scotland’s Heat Network Fund will monitor progress during the project’s delivery.

You must:

  • submit monthly progress reports to and meet regularly with Scottish Government officials and our client engineer contractor
  • meet post-commissioning reporting requirements

The monitoring will gather information on key agreed outcomes in SHNF grant offer letters, including carbon savings, affordability of heat provided and impact on supply chain.  



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