Legal Regulation of Communal or District Heating Industry

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Communal or district heat networks fulfils the energy needs of many customers by supplying several customers within a building (Communal Heating) or those in more than one building (District Heating) with thermal energy from a central plant for heating and/or production of domestic hot water.

There are currently around 17,000 heat networks registered in the UK and this is set to grow into a major future industry serving domestic, public and commercial buildings promoted by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as a key strategy in the delivery of low carbon heating throughout the UK.

Although the purpose and goal of such schemes are meant to have good environmental intentions there can also be hidden expensive traps for customers. Now, this industry is not regulated by Ofgem which means that there are rogue elements within this sector that can simply abuse their position and this cannot be ignored.

The reality for customers now is the enormous costs and energy bills of hundreds of Pounds to pay without any transparency in metering or billing couple with the issue of frequent outages and misinformation. What's more worrying is any company including the property developer and or managing agent (can receive commissions or a significant return towards the network infrastructure) can set itself up as a communal or district heating supplier without a licence. Customers with no say can be locked into a 25-year contract with these so-called energy suppliers.

With every new development expected to use such uncontrolled heat networks which will affect more and more people there needs to be a complete regulation of this sector not by toothless self-regulation or voluntary organisations such as Heat Trust. Proper regulators with the legal powers like Ofgem can restrict, control and enforce regulated tariffs and standing charges and the necessary protection for customers.

Please sign this petition and let's get this industry regulated.