OXFORD City Council has been given £17,000 by the Government to explore the idea of a city-wide heat network.

The study would look at the possibility of creating a network that could supply heat to a number of buildings or homes from a central source supplied through a system of insultated pipes.

Oxford is one of 26 local authorities awarded a share of £1.9m to develop projects designed to provide more efficient heat to buildings and lower fuel bills. It will work with the Building Research Establishment to identify potential opportunities.

Councillor John Tanner, board member for a Cleaner, Greener Oxford, said: “I’m thrilled that once again Oxford has attracted funding to develop forward thinking energy projects in our city.

“Heat networks have the potential of providing reliable and affordable heat with lower carbon emissions for our householders and businesses, which is great news. We need projects like this to help meet our city’s carbon reduction target of 40 per cent by 2020.”

Green Party group leader Craig Simmons said: “As a city with many poorly insulated historic buildings, we have a high demand for heating during the winter.

“This funding will allow us to better explore options – such as a combined heat and power plant of the type the Greens have recommended for the new Westgate development.”