District heating will play a key role in the transition to a low carbon energy system. As part of this, customer satisfaction will be integral to the successful development and growth of the sector. 

Heat Trust provides customers assurance that their heat supplier will meet sector-wide service standards and provide robust customer protection. The service standards set by Heat Trust are comparabe to those provided in the rest of the energy market. It also provides an independent process for settling disputes between customers and their heat supplier.

By joining Heat Trust, heat suppliers will benefit from a code of conduct that provides:

 


Benefits

Heat Trust makes provision for an Independent Complaint Handling Service to help Scheme members resolve complaints from customers. The service provides a means of complaint resolution that is cheaper, faster and more effective than court action.
The service is provided by the Energy Ombudsman operated by Ombudsman Services. This service is free to customers and operates in exactly the same way as the service provided to gas and electricity customers.
Customer satisfaction is at the heart of a successful business. Heat Trust membership offers peace of mind to customers that their heat supplier will comply with the Scheme’s high standards of customer service and protection. Bi-annual reporting and independent audits will provide assurance to customers that their heat supplier will be regularly monitored.

The Heat Trust registration mark can only be used by registered heat suppliers. Holding this certification is a clear signifier that the heat network meets sector-wide standards upon which they are independently audited on. Heat Trust also develops and provides customer-facing information, supporting its members to raise awareness and understanding of district heating.
Heat Trust membership is the only scheme specific to district heating that can provide assurance to investors and procurers of heat networks, that customers will receive good customer service and will be adequately protected. It is also the only scheme that provides on-going monitoring of registered sites to ensure compliance with the Scheme standards.
The Heat Trust registration mark can only be used by registered heat suppliers. Holding this certification means investors can be confident that the heat network meets sector-wide standards and is independently audited to ensure on-going compliance.
Heat Trust is recognised as the sector standard for customer service and customer protection. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has specified Heat Trust as part of its pre-qualification selection criteria for heat networks seeking public funding from the Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP).
The Scottish Government, through its district heating loan fund has also specified the importance of customer protection and the role of Heat Trust.

All heat networks registered with Heat Trust will be independently audited. Heat suppliers will benefit from an external auditor assessing the robustness of its policies and procedures, providing recommendations for improvement and also highlighting best practice. Independent Audits also provide assurance to heat suppliers, investor, procurers and customers that only schemes that remain compliant with the Heat Trust standards can retain their membership.
All members of Heat Trust can participate in the Members’ Forum. The forum allows members to provide feedback on the Scheme and suggest where modifications and additional guidance documents and support would be beneficial. The forum also provides a route for suppliers to share best practice.

Where appropriate, this will lead to development of specific guidance documents and templates that members will be able to access and use.

Feedback from the independent Heat Trust Committee is also provided back to members following bi-annual progress reports alongside notice of where the Committee is considering changes to the Scheme. The forum is also used to communicate Scheme updates and future developments.