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Heat networks are set to play a key role in meeting carbon reduction targets and helping to create a sustainable energy future. Effective consumer protection is essential to the long-term success of the heat network sector. Satisfied consumers are the fuel for future growth.

Registration with Heat Trust provides assurance to consumers and investors that their heat supplier will meet sector-wide service standards and best practice that are comparable to those in the gas and electricity markets. It also enables an independent process for settling disputes between heat suppliers and their customers.

Watch this video for an introduction to Heat Trust.

If you're a heat supplier, the following sets out how registering with us can support you.

Our Scheme's standards can apply to any GB heat supplier who contracts with domestic and/or micro-business consumers, whether metered or unmetered and regardless of the heat source used. Our Scheme doesn't cover cooling networks, but networks that provide heat and cooling can still register with us for the heat supply element. 

To register with our Scheme, you must be the entity who has the contract to supply the end consumers on the heat network. This entity could be a dedicated Energy Service Company (ESCO) or a building owner (e.g. a developer, private freeholder, housing association or local authority). We can't accept applications from that entity's subcontractors. Our Scheme can't cover bulk supply arrangements, where an entity supplies heat to a building owner but has no supply contract with the end consumers.

Each heat network must be registered with us individually.

Get regulation ready

The Energy Bill will introduce statutory Ofgem regulation for the heat network sector in the next few years. You can find out more about this here.

Our existing Heat Trust standards are the foundations on which these formal regulations will build. We’re working with Ofgem and government to support a smooth transition from our voluntary Scheme to the eventual regulatory requirements. Registering with Heat Trust therefore gives consumers confidence and helps heat network suppliers get regulation ready.

Ofgem and DESNZ say: ‘The Heat Trust's established role in setting industry standards provides a strong foundation upon which the new regulation will build and their continued involvement will aid transition, ensuring continuity, and reducing risk of disruption for the sector and its consumers … [We] encourage parties to follow existing good practice, such as that set out by the Heat Trust.’

As the leading source of customer care expertise within the industry, we can help you prepare for the regulation ahead and future-proof your business to meet your responsibilities to consumers. 

All Registered Participants of Heat Trust can participate in our Members’ Forum.

The forum allows registered heat suppliers to give feedback on Heat Trust's Scheme, share best practice and suggest where changes and additional guidance would be beneficial. Heat Trust also uses the forum to share updates on our Scheme and future developments, plus feedback from our independent stakeholder Committee.

Reputation management

Heat Trust is here to support heat suppliers in providing best in class customer service. We can share our extensive experience and best practice to enhance your existing processes and help you do the right thing by your customers.

Customer satisfaction is at the heart of any successful business. Heat Trust registration offers peace of mind to consumers that their heat supplier will comply with our Scheme’s standards of customer service and protection, which are comparable to standards in the regulated energy market.

Heat Trust also develops and provides consumer-facing information, helping you to raise awareness and understanding of heat networks among existing and prospective customers. 

All heat networks registered with Heat Trust are independently audited. You'll benefit from an external auditor assessing the robustness of your policies and procedures, recommending improvements and highlighting best practice.

Independent audits also provide assurance to heat suppliers, investors, procurers and consumers that only heat networks that remain compliant with Heat Trust's standards can retain their registration and display the Heat Trust trademark.

Competitive edge

By providing clear evidence of your quality standards, Heat Trust accreditation can give you a competitive edge when it comes to winning new contracts or obtaining government funding. And of course, it means less time and resource dealing with customer complaints.

By meeting a minimum standard of customer service and communications, resulting in more satisfied and informed consumers, your numbers of customer complaints should reduce. However for those complaints which take longer to resolve, Heat Trust makes provision for an independent dispute resolution service. This gives a method of complaint resolution that is cheaper, faster and more effective than court action.

The service is provided by the Energy Ombudsman (the same Ombudsman as in the regulated energy market) and operates in the same way as for gas and electricity complaints.

Heat Trust is the only scheme specific to heat networks that can provide assurance to investors and procurers, through our trademark, that consumers will receive good customer service and be adequately protected. 
Heat Trust is recognised as the sector standard for consumer protection.

The UK Government 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) and its successor the Green Heat Networks Fund (GHNF).

The Scottish Government has also required Heat Trust registration when awarding funding through its district heating loan fund.

And Ofgem's Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Scheme, for energy efficiency upgrades, requires most types of district heating connections to register with Heat Trust or demonstrate that they comply with equivalent (and independently-audited) standards.