In May 2020, several ADE members signed an Agreement to ensure that heat network customers were protected and supported during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Heat Trust, as the independent, not for profit, customer champion for those who live and work on heat networks agreed to provide independent monitoring of signatories’ compliance with this Agreement. 

Our first report covering the period July to September 2020 has now been published. This report, and the accompanying qualitative statements from signatories highlight both reasons for optimism and examples of good practice, but also areas of concern the ADE must now move to address. Specifically:

  • Reported levels of customer debt fell over the period; and  
  • Evidence of innovative and proactive customer engagement; yet
  • Ongoing customer disconnections;
  • Patchy levels of support; and
  • Incomplete or late submissions prevented full scrutiny.

These areas are expanded on in our response, published here.

After four years of operation Heat Trust is reviewing the Scheme Rules to keep them in line with ongoing developments in comparable markets. This will be undertaken in stages, covering the major aspects of the Heat Trust standards.

This second consultation focuses on metering, billing and Guranteed Service Payments (GSP). Feedback is sought from all interested parties. Please use the response form provided and send your responses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The deadline for responses is Thursday 26th November 2020.

Please follow this link to the consultation document here

And the response form here

Welcome to our Summer Heat Trust update for 2020. It covers updates from both Heat Trust and the wider heat network and customer protection fields. We hope that you find it informative and useful, and welcome any feedback. 

Read Summer Update 2020

Heat Trust has responded to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) consultation on building a market framework for heat networks. Heat Trust welcomed the consultation and supports the decision to appoint a sector regulator. Statutory regulation is a key step to ensuring customer protection for all heat network customers.

The key proposals in the consultation centre on licensing and an authorisation regime:

  • The proposed legislative changes will give heat network developers equivalent statutory rights and undertakings to other utilities, such as gas and electricity. A licensing arrangement will be established for those parties that wish to secure these additional powers.
  • The proposed authorisation regime for consumer protection would give Ofgem oversight and enforcement powers across quality of service, provision of information and pricing arrangements for all domestic heat network consumers. This would be funded through fees scaled according to the regulated party’s size.

Transparency, pricing and quality of service standards are key elements of the protection regime customers need. Other important aspects include access to independent redress and enforcement powers - with which heat networks can be held accountable to.

Heat Trust already sets minimum standards in many of these areas and can help suppliers prepare for the transition to regulation. We also look forward to building on our learnings and experience with government to help inform new regulation.

Heat Trust’s full response to the consultation can be found here.

Modifications being revisited

The below modifications are being progressed in the summber of 2022:

 

Updating Scheme Rules relating to metering, billing and GSP

The second stage of strategic Scheme Rules review related to metering, billing and Guaranteed Service Payments, which was undertaken in 2021. Most of the metering and billing related modifications have now been implemented and can be found on the Scheme Modifications page. Those related to Guaranteed Service Payments, below, are being revisited in a series of Roundtables over summer 2022.

 

Modifications which were not approved

MOD010 - MOD012 - Modifications to the Scheme Rules relating to vulnerable customers  
The first stage of strategic Scheme Rules Review related to customers in vulnerable situations. Some modification proposals were approved and can be found in Scheme Modifications. The modification proposals which were not approved can be found below: