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Regulation of heat network sector will be a good thing for customers and the wider industry

Cover of CMA heat networks market study final report

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published its final report from its Heat Networks Market Study, recommending regulation of the sector. The report recognises the benefits of heat networks for customers, including the fact that they provide an efficient supply of heat and hot water at prices close to, or often lower than, alternative supply options such as gas or electricity.

The industry has done lots of good work done to date but we still have far to go

Whilst acknowledging the work of bodies such as Heat Trust and the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) to improve standards, the CMA’s report notes that some heat networks receive poorer service and pay high prices than the Ofgem-regulated markets. In addition, not all heat network customers have the same protections as gas and electricity companies. The CMA therefore recommends that the sector should be regulated. This will ensure all heat networks are designed, built and operated to the same high standard, and that all heat network customers have access to information, protection and support if they are unhappy.

We agree with the CMA’s recommendation that the heat network industry should be regulated, to protect customers and the future of the industry.

Energetik responded to the CMA’s statement of scope and update paper as part of the market study.

In response to the CMA’s final report, Energetik’s Managing Director Jayne Clare has the following comments:

“The way our business operates is designed to address the issues that lead to customers suffering any unfair detriment from being connected to our heat networks. We look forward to this approach being mandated for the heat network sector as a whole.

We firmly believe that just ‘doing’ heat networks is not good enough. Our customers don’t have a choice for their heat supplier so we have to work extra hard to win and maintain their trust. At Energetik we take on this challenge with pleasure – customer protection is embedded in our heat networks across every detail, from our procurement specifications, design drawings, commissioning processes to maintenance contracts. What’s more, I’m proud to say that communicating and engaging with our customers so they understand what they can expect from us is a fundamental part of our day-to-day operations.”

 

Read more:

Energetik’s response to the CMA’s update paper: https://www.gov.uk/cma-cases/heat-networks-market-study

CMA’s useful guidance for heat network customers: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/heat-networks-advice-for-customers-and-the-industry/heat-networks-advice-for-customers