Important information for parties considering installation of district heating and the use of the Heat Cost Calculator by potential contractors


This note is written for the avoidance of doubt on the part of contracting authorities and suppliers of District Energy, about the role and purpose of the Heat Cost Calculator (‘HCC’).

The HCC is not intended for use by parties bidding for installation. It is not an authoritative statement of the prices of alternative methods of heating and should not be portrayed or otherwise be used as such.

On the contrary, as set out on the website itself and in accompanying documentation for consumers, it is at best an estimate for the use of consumers, based on certain specific assumptions, based (ideally) on their actual usage, and with an accuracy that will necessarily vary depending on the specific nature of the property concerned and use of heat by occupants.

In light of that, the Heat Customer Protection Ltd would caution both suppliers of district heating and bodies considering procuring district heating, against any reliance on the HCC in the decision making process.

In considering the use of district heating against other solutions, it is naturally important that the right decision is reached, both as to whether district heating is the best solution and, if so, which supplier offers the best solution. Any use of the HCC, as with alternatives (such as energy switching sites which may provide indicative quotes for energy alone) should be critically scrutinised.

Whilst ultimately a matter for the contracting authority (other than where public authorities are caught by public procurement Regulations), this is likely to be best achieved by conducting an open and effective bidding exercise, with at least the following features:

  • Several bidders should be invited, including more than one bidder offering district heating;
  • The alternatives should be independently and critically assessed by the contracting authority;
  • Specifically, the use of ‘generic’ data should be critically examined. For instance, if the purported anticipated costs of energy are based on the HCC (which is not the purpose of the Calculator and may lead to inaccurate results), a switching site, or any other source, the assumptions should be tested against the specifications of the building stock in question and the contracting party’s own assessments of anticipated use.

Should examples of inappropriate use of the HCC (for instance, a suggestion that it is an effective ‘benchmark’) by providers of district heating be observed we would ask that this be brought to our attention by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Finally, as stated in the ‘Further information document’, the assumptions used in the Heat Cost Calculator will be reviewed at least once a year, which may lead to revisions in the background assumptions used in the Heat Cost Calculator. All updates will be published in the ‘Further information document’ and changes will be highlighted.

We retain the right to update this notice.

March 2017

6th February 2017

Following an article in The Observer on district heating and customer service, the Heat Trust has issued the following statement:

“At Heat Trust, we believe that value for customers and trust in the sector must be built on a foundation of basic customer protection: clear quality of service, strong minimum standards, and an independent way to settle disputes.

Heat Trust has established a consistent set of service standards that we believe all heat suppliers should provide their customers, and puts in place access to an independent Ombudsman to hold suppliers to account if they fail to deliver those standards.

The Heat Trust Scheme is stakeholder-led, with an independent Committee that is responsible for ensuring the standards set by the Scheme are robust. As Heat Trust moves into our second year we remain committed to working with all stakeholders to help build and grow a fairer, more transparent market for all customers of heat networks.”

Read more ...


 11th November 2016

Today Heat Trust welcomes Switch2 Energy Limited and its Grafton Square heat network in to membership, extending independent customer protection to 45 heat networks and 27,500 customers.

Bindi Patel, Head of Scheme at Heat Trust said:

“We are delighted that Switch2 Energy Limited has chosen to register its ESCO sites with Heat Trust.

By registering with Heat Trust, Switch2 Energy Limited joins a growing number of ESCO providers that recognise the importance of customer protection and sector-wide standards to provide assurance to customers on the quality of service they can expect from their Heat Supplier.”

Fiona MacDonald, Head of Customer Service at Switch-2 said:

Switch2 Energy Limited is delighted to be registering our ESCO sites with the Heat Trust. We are a strong supporter of all aspects of the Heat Trust and what it stands for; introducing standards of service to the industry and giving customers a higher degree of protection. As a customer focused organisation, we welcome this as an opportunity to continuously strive to improve our service and introduce new initiatives to enhance all aspects of our customer service.”

Read more ...

Today one of the UK’s largest district heating schemes, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stratford has joined Heat Trust. Over 2,800 customers who are resident at East Village, formerly the Athletes' Village, will now be protected under the Heat Trust Scheme.

Welcoming East Village to the scheme, Bindi Patel, Head of Scheme at Heat Trust said:

“We are delighted to welcome the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Heat Network to Heat Trust. By joining, East London Energy and its parent company, ENGIE, have recognised the importance and value of demonstrating their commitment to providing their customers with excellent service. With this addition Heat Trust is now providing customer protection to 25,500 customers”.

Read more ...

Monday 17th October 2016 

Consumer protection a vital part of Government’s heat network investment requirements

Consumers will be placed at the heart of new Government backed heat schemes according to a major new initiative launched today.

Applications to the Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) for funding to support the development of heat networks will be required to sign up to consumer protection scheme Heat Trust or offer equivalent standards to domestic and micro-business customers.

Read more ...