Welcome to your new heating system!
What is community heating?
Rather than having an individual boiler in each property, community heating is generated from a central energy centre with one set of boilers. These boilers may be gas or include renewable sources such as biomass (wood) fuel. In addition to heating, water and electricity may also be included in the central energy centre. The utilities are then distributed to your property via a local infrastructure (pipes and wires) direct to homes. The main thing to remember is that with community energy you have a pre-heated building that is kept warm all the time. This means you only have to pay for the heat you use in your home and not the costs associated with running an individual boiler from cold to hot. Centralised community energy schemes optimise efficiency far and above that of an individual system supplying one customer.
Community heating is an efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly form of heating.
It is important you understand the difference between community heating and gas boiler central heating, and the costs of these. The price per unit can be higher for community heating but you will use less energy than those who have an individual boiler.
Community heating is significantly cheaper than electric heating.
Why am I on community heating?
Your property is part of a community heating system. This means there is a central boiler room which pumps hot water through pipes to each property. There are individual smart meters in each property that measure the heating and hot water used.
Benefits of community heating
- If you own your home, you don’t need to buy or service a boiler, this will be taken care of by your heating supplier
- You will never have to provide us with your meter readings, your smart meter will send them automatically for you
- You are receiving low carbon energy from local heat sources, such as biomass or waste, that can help reduce emissions
- District heating can help to tackle the problem of fuel poverty
- The connection to the local heat source should provide lower cost heat for residential customers, as compared to heat from fossil fuels
- Reduced maintenance required and maintenance is included in your charges
How does community heating work?
Generally, a centralised boiler generates heat and hot water and distributes it to homes included in the scheme. It is more efficient than each home having individual boilers. Instead, each property connected to the scheme has a Heat Interface Unit (HIU) and a heat meter. The heat meter measures each kilowatt hour used in the property, this is then used to calculate your bills.
What do Switch2 do?
The services Switch2 provides varies between customers. It can be a combination of the services below. To find out for definite which services Switch2 provides to you: check your welcome letter, my.switch2.co.uk or call us on 0333 321 2010.
- We read you heat meter remotely via our connection systems.
- We produce monthly bills for you.
- We process your payments for you.
- We maintain the main heating and hot water control equipment in your home.
- We will respond to faults in your home with your heating and hot water
- We look after the plant room on your site and respond to any heating issues which impacts the whole site.
Who do I phone for help?
Call our customer services team on 0333 321 2010 available Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm. We also operate a 24/7/365 emergency service using the same number.
How do I register as a new customer?
Your landlord, housing association or managing agent will need to provide us with your details in order to be registered on our system. We cannot accept registrations from residents themselves. If you suspect you are not registered then please contact your landlord in advance of calling Switch2.
What Switch2 offers (the benefits of AMR)
Your meters are read remotely via Automatic Meter Reading equipment (AMR) which means you do not have to submit readings and we do not have to come out to obtain readings. This is a significant benefit and means you will seamlessly receive monthly bills from us based on accurate meter readings. Estimates may be used if we have a problem reading your meter but this will be clearly highlighted on your bill.
Can I change my supplier?
If you are connected to a community energy scheme the possibility of changing supplier is very unlikely and the change could prove costly bearing in mind individual boiler purchase costs, rewiring and servicing. We will also do everything possible to ensure our tariffs are comparable to conventional heating systems.
I have not received a welcome pack
If you haven’t received your welcome pack, and are new to Switch2: Please call us on 03333212010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have a vulnerability
If you have a disability or special need, we have a range of services that will provide the extra help you may need. If you’d prefer someone else you trust to handle your account on your behalf, once we have authorisation from you, we can arrange for bills and letters to be sent to another person, such as a close friend or relative.
We are keen to understand your needs so that we can keep a record on our system and ensure our engineers and staff are aware of this so we can provide you with the best, most suited service to your requirements. Please contact us or log your special request via the vulnerability section on my.switch2.co.uk.