Wednesday 25th July 2018 |
A recommendation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to regulate heat networks has been backed by community and district heating specialist Switch2 Energy.
As members of the Heat Network Task Force, Switch2 has been calling for regulation of the sector for some time. The Task Force was launched by The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE), in partnership with industry stakeholders, to deliver stronger protection for consumers and develop a subsidy-free heat network market.
Ian Allan, Head of R&D for Switch2 Energy, said: “The recommendation from the CMA is excellent news for the heat network sector. The high performance and customer service standards that we adhere to through the CIBSE/ADE code of practice and via The Heat Trust will now be reinforced across all district and community heating schemes. This means that all customers will benefit from protection and higher performance standards.
“We look forward to working with the ADE, the Heat Trust and other stakeholders to ensure that implementation of the new regulation delivers consistent best practice across the sector. It must increase resident satisfaction and protection, while encouraging further investment in heat networks.
“There is an urgent need to decarbonise the UK heat supply and the growth of heat networks has a critical role to play. With regulation, we can make sure that district and community heating schemes achieve their full potential as a reliable source of affordable, low carbon heat.”
The CMA is recommending that Ofgem becomes the new regulator and introduces:
- The same level of consumer protection for heat network customers as those of the gas and electricity sectors.
- Higher levels of transparency, including clearer agreements, or contracts, between customers and heat network operators.
- Clarity and transparency for customers about their heat payments and tariffs.
- Protection from poor standards of design, build and operation – to prevent cost cutting and creating higher long-term costs for customers.
Switch2 Energy provides a complete service to the district and community heating sector – supplying 70,000 residents and 180 clients across 500 heat networks. Services include equipment supply, metering, billing and pay-as-you-go, through to maintenance, energy centre management and customer services. Its systems and products that are benchmarked against industry good practice to improve customer service.
Further information: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/heat-networks-must-be-regulated-cma-study-finds