If you are on a heat network registered with Heat Trust, you can expect the following:

Separate Heat Supply Agreements

Your heating supplier should have provided you with a heat supply agreement, also known as a residential supply agreement. This is the service contract between you and your heat supplier. It is an important document and sets out key terms and conditions of your heating and hot water supply.

Customer Charter

Not all heat suppliers use separate contracts. Some may include heating and hot water within a leasehold or tenancy agreement. In these cases, Heat Trust requires the heat supplier to provide customers with terms of service in a separate document, such as a customer charter.

Customer Information Pack

All Registered Participants must provide a customer information pack. You should have received this from your heat supplier upon moving into the property. If you are moving into a rented property, you may need to contact the heat supplier to request a customer information pack.

Guaranteed Service Payments

If your heating or hot water supply has been interrupted without advance warning, your heat supplier is required to restore supply within 24 hours. If supply has not been restored after 24 hours, you may be entitled to a payment of £30 for every additional 24 hour period of no supply. A cap to payments applies.

Support for vulnerable customers

All Registered Participants must hold a Priority Services Register of customers that require additional communications support (e.g. visually impaired). Customers that are eligible can ask to be placed on the register. Heat Trust also requires Registered Participants to hold a Vulnerable Customers Register, and provide certain additional services to those customers. Vulnerable customers are defined as those customers who are significantly less able to protect themselves or their interests in the energy market and/or significantly more likely to suffer detriment than a typical heat customer. This is the same definition used by Ofgem, the regulator for gas and electricity companies.

Reporting faults and emergencies

Customers must be able to report faults and emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If the heat energy supply is interrupted, Registered Participants must respond within 24 hours. If it is a technical fault (i.e. the heat energy supply is not interrupted), Registered Participants must respond within 7 days of being notified.

Billing and payment difficulties

Registered Participants must provide you with bills that separate out fixed and variable charges within each bill and provide each customer with an annual account statement. If you have a pre-payment meter (also known as pay as you go), you may only receive an annual account statement. Registered Participants must work closely with customers who experience difficulty paying their bill. They must take reasonable steps to help restructure payments or arrange a new repayment plan.

Future charges

Registered Participants must set out the circumstances under which heat charges may change in the future in a clear and transparent way, where possible. This information should use free, publicly available data and include triggers such as dates or changes to the cost of externally sourced components (e.g. fuel). Where possible, this information should be contained in the Heat Supply Agreement. Registered Participants must give customers at least 31 days’ notice of any change to heat charges and limit the frequency that charges can be changed to no more than twice a year.

Complaints procedure and access to the Energy Ombudsman

 Registered Participants must respond to complaints within eight weeks of when the complaint is made by the customer. After eight weeks if the complaint remains unresolved or you are unhappy with the response provided, you can refer your complaint to the Energy Ombudsman. This service is free to customers. Please see more on our dedicated complaints page or see our FAQs about complaints.

What is not covered by Heat Trust

Finally, there are two main areas where Heat Trust cannot set requirements. These are pricing and contract length. By law, we do not have authority to make decisions on these issues. If you would like to gain an indication of the annual heating and hot water cost for a similar-sized property if it had a modern gas boiler, please use our Heat Cost Calculator.

Download our factsheet for a summary of our key standards.

 

Both UK and Scottish Governments have published proposals to regulate the heat networks market in the near future. Please see our Resources page for more information. 

Our Frequently Asked Questions

 

Delivering high quality heat networks and driving up standards is essential to achieving the government’s objectives for resilient heat supply for communities up and down the country, addressing fuel poverty and ensuring a good return on government investment.

Comprehensive regulation is vital to building customer trust in heat networks that will allow the market to continue to grow and deliver the benefits of sustainable heat supply more widely. This is particularly important in a market of natural monopolies where customers often have little choice.

Strong foundations

Heat Trust is already widely recognised as the key consumer champion in the heat network market, and consumer surveys show that Heat Trust standards have already had a positive impact on the market.

We have unsurpassed collective knowledge of this complex, fledgling industry and have been putting in place the foundations of the bespoke, robust regulations that will protect customers while allowing the market to flourish in the future. This is an essential part of the journey towards regulation – but just the first step.

Unique perspective

As experts in consumer protection, we are uniquely qualified to bring an objective customer perspective to the conversation between government and the industry about impending regulation.

Heat Trust is the only heat network code of conduct that is consistent with gas and electricity market standards, has an independent committee to oversee industry standards, uses audits to check compliance and publishes performance data each year on complaints and outages.

Proven approach

Since its inception in 2015, all major energy service companies (ESCOs) have registered sites with Heat Trust. We have also launched the first and only publicly available Heat Cost Calculator, a critical instrument for government and consumers in assessing value in the market.

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