Nearly half a million households could face the prospect of energy prices rising on 1 April 2024.

As domestic gas and electricity customers welcome the news that the price of their energy is to fall in April 2024, the consumer champion Heat Trust has raised alarm that the government is removing price protection completely for around half a million households with communal or district heating (heat networks).

The commercial gas and electricity used by heat networks has been capped over the last year under the government’s Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS), albeit at a higher price than domestic gas and electricity customers enjoy (see notes below for price comparisons).

However, this price ceiling is being abolished on 31 March 2024 and the government has failed to renew the price-protection scheme.

For people living on heat networks that means that, while wholesale gas prices are falling, if their landlord is signed up to a fixed-term fixed price that is above the current EBDS rate they could see their bills rise, not fall, on 1 April 2024.

Stephen Knight, Managing Director at Heat Trust, said: “Heat networks are vital to providing low-cost, low-carbon heating for the future, but the lack of regulation and price control has left many communal heating customers today with unaffordable high heating bills. Only limited price protection has been in place over the last year and now even this meagre protection is being scrapped completely.

“All gas and electricity being supplied to domestic buildings should be subject to price control, so that heat network customers have equivalent protections to other domestic energy customers. Sadly, current plans for heat network regulation fail to deliver this basic protection.”


The Ofgem price cap unit price for domestic gas during 2023/24 (all including 5% VAT). From 1 April 2024 this drops to 6.04 p/kWh.

Apr 2023 - June 2023 Jul 2023 - Sep 2023 Oct 2023 - Dec 2023 Jan 2024 - Mar 2024
12.61 p/kWh 7.51 p/kWh 6.89 p/kWh 7.42 p/kWh


EBDS gas unit price ceiling for heat networks from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024: 

7.83 p/kWh (+VAT) = 8.22 p/kWh (including VAT)

This ceiling will be scrapped completely from 1 April 2024.

Heat networks need lower-priced gas to deliver equivalent heat prices to consumers, because of heat losses in the delivery of heat and hot water to buildings.