Read Newsletter - Spring/ Summer 2019

Friday 24th May 


Today Heat Trust has published a consultation as part of work to update its Heat Cost Calculator.

Heat Trust launched its Heat Cost Calculator (HCC) in 2016 to provide customers living on heat networks an indication of what it would cost to heat a similar sized property using an individual gas boiler.

Although the HCC cannot provide a bespoke assessment, Heat Trust has developed the tool to encourage better transparency in the market on heat charges by providing customers a tool that allows them to compare against a common alternative.

The majority of space heating in the UK is provided by gas boilers, which is the alternative used in the current HCC. However, a growing number of UK properties use electricity as a heating fuel. Electric heating is becoming more common in flats where heat demand is lower and / or the number of floors in the building prevents gas being used on safety grounds.

Heat Trust therefore recognises that it would be helpful to expand the HCC to include electric heating.

Bindi Patel, Head of Scheme at Heat Trust said:

“The Heat Cost Calculator allows customers to gain an indication of the annual heating and hot water costs for a similar-sized property assuming it had a modern gas boiler.

Recognising that for a growing number of properties the alternative is more likely to be electric heating, Heat Trust has been working to expand its HCC to include electric heating.

We are keen to receive feedback on the proposed formulas and look forward to engaging with stakeholders further as our work develops”

 The consultation published today seeks feedback on the formulas for electric panel heaters and electric storage heaters. The consultation also asks for views data for other renewable technologies where publicly available data is limited.

Responses to the consultation should be received by Monday 8th July 2019.  The consultation can be accessed here.

Friday 05 April 2019

Heat Trust welcomes the Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth’s open letter to all heat network operators on improving customer service. Noting that government intends to legislate, the Minister calls for industry to improve consumer experience by building on existing good practice now, rather than waiting for regulation.

The Rt Hon Claire Perry MP said:

I encourage all owners and operators of heat networks who are not currently registered with Heat Trust and who do not offer equivalent standards to consider joining. The quality standards that the voluntary scheme sets out will give your consumers important reassurance and protections.

Heat networks will play a significant role in meeting heat decarbonisation targets, with expectations that up to 1.5million households will be served by a heat network by 2030.  It is vital that as the sector evolves customers are assured service standards that are comparable to the rest of the energy market.

In welcoming the letter, Bindi Patel, Head of Scheme for Heat Trust said:

"Heat networks need to work for customers, and at Heat Trust we have been working to promote better customer service practices in the heat network sector since 2015. The standards we set are designed to ensure customers benefit from a level of service and protection that is comparable to the rest of the energy market.

 

“We support the call for regulation, but proactive action is needed now. We welcome the Minister’s letter encouraging all heat networks to join Heat Trust. With over three years’ experience, Heat Trust can support the market to ensure heat suppliers are equipped and prepared for future regulation.

 

“We also recognise that as the market evolves, so too should our standards. We are keen to work and engage with all types of suppliers to understand their needs and help inform future development of the scheme.”

For more information about Heat Trust visit www.heattrust.org

ENDS

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Notes to editors

Heat Trust launched in November 2015. It sets out a common standard in the quality and level of customer service that heat suppliers should provide their customers.

It also provides an independent process with the Energy Ombudsman for settling complaints between customers and their heat supplier. This service is free for customers to access.

In 2018, Heat Trust consulted on expanding the Scheme by allowing those sites without Heat Customer Supply Agreements to join if they provide equivalent protections, e.g. a customer charter. As a result, there is the potential for thousands more customers to benefit from the same protections. The Heat Trust Scheme Rules were amended to include this change from 1 April 2019.

For more information on the consultation click here.

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Thousands more people who receive heat through a heat network will now be able to access free independent complaint resolution and minimum customer service standards. Heat Trust, the independent customer protection scheme has extended its eligibility requirements to enable heat network suppliers with Customer Charters, or equivalent, to register. To-date, heat network suppliers have been required to have a Heat Energy Supply Agreement in place with each customer before being eligible to register. 

Head of Scheme Bindi Patel said more than 37,000 customers were already benefiting from being on heat networks registered with Heat Trust and thousands more customers could now have the same protection as a result of the change. 

"The change recognises that many heat network suppliers, particularly housing authorities and local authorities, often capture heating and hot water provision in tenancy or leasehold agreements as opposed to a specific Heat Energy Supply Agreement. 

 

"By opening up eligibility to these operators who can demonstrate they have clear commitments to specific service standards and terms and conditions in place, we are able to offer Heat Trust benefits to thousands more customers on heat networks across the UK."

The extension of Heat Trust to such operators follows an open consultation.

Virginia Graham of the Renewable Energy Consumer Code (RECC) welcomed the extension of the Scheme. 

“By enabling more heat networks to register with Heat Trust, thousands more customers will be given an assurance dependable heat supplies and high-quality service." 

For more information about Heat Trust visit www.heattrust.org

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Heat Trust launched in November 2015. It sets out a common standard in the quality and level of customer service that heat suppliers should provide their customers. It also provides an independent process with the Energy Ombudsman for settling complaints between customers and their heat supplier. This service is free for customers to access.

The Modification to the Heat Trust Scheme Rules (SR0003) will come into effect from the 1 April 2019

  • The Consultation Report can be found here.
  • All Heat Trust Registered Sites can be found here.
  • Download Press Release here.

Welcome to our Winter Heat Trust newsletter! We hope that you find the newsletter informative and useful and welcome any feedback. 

Read Newsletter - Winter 2018