Five local authority and two private sector schemes have been offered funding totalling £40m.
The Barking Town Centre Strategic Distribution Energy Scheme, which has been awarded £5m, aims to develop a low-carbon district heating system for old and new buildings, comprising more than 8,000 homes.
The Bristol City Council Old Market Heat Network, which has won £6.59m, will supply low-carbon heat to 17 city-centre buildings including office blocks, hotels, and schools.
The Bristol Redcliffe Heat Network has received £3.6m to expand the existing network and install a second energy centre to heat new commercial developments.
Leeds City Council has won £2.4m to extend a completed heat network into the city centre, where it will heat council buildings using heat from a recycling and energy recovery facility.
Energetik’s Meridian Water Heat Network, which has been awarded £5.5m, will eventually connect to three other housing developments to supply over 15,000 homes with waste heat.
Veolia’s South East London Combined Heat and Power Heat Network has been offered £5.5m to develop a new pipework branch to transport heat from a south London EfW plant to 3,500 new homes.
Finally, Peel Energy’s Liverpool Waters Heating Network has been awarded £1.3m to supply heat to residential and commercial buildings.
The money for these projects comes from the £320m Heat Networks Investment Project fund, which runs until March 2022.
The fund is open to public and private sector organisations in England and Wales.
Ken Hunnisett, project director at Triple Point Heat Networks Investment Management, said: “We are delighted to offer funding to these highly deliverable projects, each of which scored well in the opening funding rounds in terms of the key scheme metrics of heat delivered and carbon saved.
“We know that there is a substantial pipeline of projects out there and as such this announcement today will be the first of many.
“We hope it helps to build confidence in the market and that it encourages others to come forward and take advantage of this unique opportunity.”