Monday 23rd July 2018

Heat Trust supports the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA’s) call for the heat network industry to be regulated and welcomes its recommendation that the framework draws on Heat Trust’s experience. 

The CMA made the recommendation in its final Heat Network Market Study report. The CMA referenced the customer benefit that Heat Trust had delivered and recommended that Ofgem, BEIS and the devolved governments draw on Heat Trust’s experience, customer protection measures and standards when designing the regulatory framework.

Responding to the final report, Head of Scheme Bindi Patel said:

 “Heat Trust welcomes the final report from the CMA on its Heat Networks Market Study and its recommendations.  Referencing BEIS’s consumer survey, the CMA’s report highlights that 74% of Heat Trust registered schemes felt they had a description of how their bills had been calculated, compared with only 31% of those on non-registered schemes.

“Examples such as these clearly demonstrate the standards set by Heat Trust, including support for vulnerable customers, guaranteed service payments for interruptions, access to the Energy Ombudsman and providing clear terms of service, are delivering positive benefits to both customers and the market.  

“Introducing a proportionate regulatory regime will guarantee customer protection and mandate the standards already put in place by Heat Trust and its members. We are pleased that the CMA has recommended that a future regulatory framework builds on the work of Heat Trust.”

Heat Trust responded to the CMA's market study and will work with government and other sector bodies to progress the report recommendations.

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. These are designed to be comparable, as far as possible, to the standards set in the regulated energy market. 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.

Heat Trust has grown to 53 heat networks and approximately 33,000 customers. 

Heat Customer Protection Ltd is committed to safeguarding the privacy of your personal data. Please read the following policy to understand how We treat your personal data.

 1. Who are ‘We’?

In this policy, the words ‘We’, ‘Us’ or ‘Our’ refer to Heat Customer Protection Limited.

We can be contacted at: Heat Customer Protection Limited, c/o ADE, 6th Floor, 10 Dean Farrar Street, London, SW1H 0DX. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 2. About this Policy

2.1 This policy explains when and why We collect personal information, how We use it and how We keep it secure and your rights in relation to it.

2.2 We may collect, use and store your personal data, as described in this Data Privacy Policy and as described when We collect data from you.

2.3 We reserve the right to amend this Data Privacy Policy from time to time without prior notice. You are advised to check Our Website http://www.heattrust.org
regularly for any amendments (but amendments will not be made retrospectively).

2.4 We will always comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when dealing with your personal data. Further details on the GDPR can be found at the Website for the Information Commissioner (http://www.ico.gov.uk). For the purposes of the GDPR, We will be the “controller” of all personal data We hold about you.

 3. What information do We collect?

We collect personal data about you when you;

  • use Our Website. We collect information such as your IP address, geographical location, browser type, referral source, length of visit, document downloads and number of page views. This information helps Us produce anonymised data about Our users’ browser behaviours. Our Website also uses cookies - see 3.1;
  • sign up for Our newsletter or other informational updates. We collect information such as your name and email address. We may also analyse your ‘click throughs’ on the newsletter emails that We send to you;
  • attend events hosted by Us. We collect information such as your name, contact details and your bank/credit card details. We may also record meetings and event proceedings through video, photography or audio recording;
  • voluntarily provide Us with your personal data whilst completing surveys, signing up for information updates, signing up for events, providing feedback, or emailing directly. We collect information such as your name, email address and any additional comments or information you give to Us.
  • use the heat cost calculator on Our website: annual cost of heating and hot water, heat consumption for properties on communal and district heating schemes, including IP address and postcodes. This data will be collected under contract with a third party;
  • upload documents to the member’s area of our website.
  • join the Heat Trust scheme. Information on heat supply arrangements, the number and type of properties (domestic or micro-business) on each heat network, type of central plant (CHP, gas boiler etc), number of FTE staff, number and type of meters (PPM or credit).
    Data on complaints, supply interruptions by volume and type for each heat network that is registered under Heat Trust through the application process, bi-annual monitoring reports and independent audits of scheme sites.

 3.1 Cookies

A cookie consists of information sent by a web server to a web browser, and stored by the browser. The information is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. This enables the web server to identify and track the web browser.

We may use both “session” cookies and “persistent” cookies on the website. We will use the session cookies to keep track of you whilst you navigate the website. We will use the persistent cookies to enable Our website to recognise you when you visit.

Session cookies will be deleted from your computer when you close your browser. Persistent cookies will remain stored on your computer until deleted, or until they reach a specified expiry date.

We use Google Analytics to analyse the use of this website. Google Analytics generates statistical and other information about website use by means of cookies, which are stored on users' computers. The information generated relating to Our website is used to create reports about the use of the website. Google will store this information. Google's privacy policy is available at: http://www.google.com/privacypolicy.html.

Most browsers allow you to reject all cookies, whilst some browsers allow you to reject just third party cookies. For example, in Internet Explorer you can refuse all cookies by clicking “Tools”, “Internet Options”, “Privacy”, and selecting “Block all cookies” using the sliding selector. Blocking all cookies will, however, have a negative impact upon the usability of many websites.

 4. What do We do with your data?

We only process your data in relation to specific purposes after giving careful consideration to ensure that your privacy rights are not impacted.

We will process your data that you provide to Us in the following ways for the purpose of fulfilling Our contractual obligations to you:

  • To provide you with the services that you have requested or purchased from Us;
  • To administer Our events that you wish to attend.

We will process your personal data where you have given your consent to Us doing so:

  • To provide you with newsletters and other updates;
  • To provide you with information about Our upcoming events and other related services of interest.

We will process your data for the legitimate interests of operating Our business:

  • for the purposes of assessing the annual cost of heat compared to alternative heating systems;
  • For the purposes of evaluating performance of registered sites and registered participants of Heat Trust against standards set by Us;
  • Information may additionally be published in Our reports. Any published information will be done so anonymously.

5. How We protect your personal data

5.1 We will not transfer your personal data outside the EU without your consent.

5.2 We have implemented generally accepted standards of technology and operational security in order to protect personal data from loss, misuse, or unauthorised alteration or destruction.

5.3 Please note however that where you are transmitting information to Us over the internet this can never be guaranteed to be 100% secure.

5.4 For any payments which We take from you online We will use a recognised online secure payment system.

5.5 We will notify you promptly in the event of any breach of your personal data which might expose you to serious risk.

 6. Who else has access to the information you provide us?

6.1 We will not share your personal data with any third parties without your prior consent (which you are free to withhold) except where We are required to do so by law or in paragraph 6.2 below.

6.2 We may pass your personal data to third parties who are service providers, agents and subcontractors to Us for the purposes of completing tasks and providing services to you on Our behalf (e.g. to print newsletters and send you mailings). We do this for the purpose of Our legitimate interests in operating the business and for performing Our contract with you. However, We disclose only the personal data that is necessary for the third party to deliver the service and We have a contract in place that requires them to keep your information secure and not to use it for their own purposes. It is possible that third parties may themselves engage others (sub- processors) to process your data. Where this is the case third parties will be required to have contractual arrangements with their sub-processor(s) that ensure your information is kept secure and not used for their own purposes.

 7. How long do We keep your information?

7.1 We will hold your personal data on Our systems for as long as We need it. We consider Our ongoing obligations to You, contractual requirements and any legal obligations. We will review your personal data regularly to establish whether We are still entitled to process it. If We decide that We are not entitled to do so, We will stop processing your personal data except that We will retain your personal data in an archived form in order to be able to comply with future legal obligations e.g. compliance with tax requirements and exemptions, and the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.

7.2 Information entered into the heat cost calculator tool on Our website will be collected by a third-party prior to being transferred to Us. The third-party will not hold this data for longer than 90 days.

7.3 We securely destroy all personal information once We have used it and no longer need it.

8. Your rights

8.1 You have rights under the GDPR:

(a) to access your personal data

(b) to be provided with information about how your personal data is processed

(c) to have your personal data corrected

(d) to have your personal data erased in certain circumstances

(e) to object to or restrict how your personal data is processed

(f) to have your personal data transferred to yourself or to another business in certain circumstances.

 8.2 Updating information

Please let Us know if the personal information which We hold about you needs to be corrected or updated.

8.3 Contact

If you have any questions about this privacy policy or Our treatment of your personal data, please write to Us by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by post to Heat Customer Protection Limited, c/o ADE, 6th Floor, 10 Dean Farrar Street, London, SW1H 0DX.

8.4 Your Right to Lodge a Complaint

You have the right to take any complaints about how We process your personal data to the Information Commissioner:

https://ico.org.uk/concerns/

 

For more details, please address any questions, comments and requests regarding Our data processing practices to Our Data Controller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thursday 10 May 2018

Heat Trust welcomes the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA’s) announcement that is has provisionally concluded there is a need for a statutory regulatory regime for heat networks.

Responding to the announcement, Bindi Patel, Head of Scheme said:

“Today’s announcement from the CMA is supported and welcomed by Heat Trust.

“The initial finding that there is a need for a statutory regulatory regime for heat networks concurs with our view that all customers, on all heat networks, should be assured of reliable heat supplies, excellent service and access to independent redress.”

Heat Trust responded to the CMA’s Statement of Scope and is pleased to see the CMA is considering steps in a number of areas already highlighted by Heat Trust. This includes ensuring customers are provided with clear information on heat network, better pre-transaction information and improvements to the information provided by Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).

The CMA has also proposed requiring heat suppliers to comply with rules on price and quality in long-term contracts and the development of industry–wide performance metrics.

Bindi continued:

“As shown by the BEIS Consumer Survey and referenced by the CMA in its report, the standards set by Heat Trust, including support for vulnerable customers, guaranteed service payments for interruptions, access to the Energy Ombudsman and providing clear terms of service, are delivering positive benefits to both customers and the market.  

“We look forward to engaging with the CMA as it finalises its report and with other stakeholders on developing a sustainable and proportionate regulatory framework that works for all customers”.

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. These are designed to be comparable, as far as possible, to the standards set in the regulated energy market. 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.

Heat Trust has grown to 53 heat networks and approximately 33,000 customers. 

Download the press release

Welcome to the first Heat Trust newsletter of 2018. We’d like to keep in more regular contact with our stakeholders, so we will be using these newsletters to share updates on our work. We hope that you find them informative and useful and welcome any feedback.  Read Newsletter - Spring 2018

Heat Trust has put forward plans to allow more heat networks to sign up to the customer protection scheme.

Read more ...