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’ available here and changes will be highlighted.

We retain the right to update this notice.

March 2017