Consumers will be placed at the heart of new Government backed heat schemes according to a major new initiative launched today.

Applications to the Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) for funding to support the development of heat networks will be required to sign up to consumer protection scheme Heat Trust or offer equivalent standards to domestic and micro-business customers.

The requirements form part of the pre-qualification questionnaire which invites local authorities to apply for a share of £39 million as part of the HNIP’s Pilot Scheme. Multiple criteria will be used to score and rank applications to the Pilot Scheme and include scores for carbon savings, customer impact and social net present value.

Welcoming the launch of the Heat Networks Investment Project, Bindi Patel, Head of Scheme at Heat Trust said:

“The long-term legacy of heat networks will be defined by how well heat networks operate and deliver for the customers they serve. Striving for excellence in customer service should form a central part of any heat network project.

It is, therefore, fantastic to see that the principles set out under Heat Trust for customer service standards and customer protection form part of the selection criteria in allocating funding.”