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2018 – celebrating Energetik’s first year of operation

Birthday cake with one candle and energetik logo

From the seed of an idea in 2011…fast forward to late 2017 and Energetik has been incorporated as a business; received start-up funding from the London Energy Efficiency Fund and European Investment Bank; procured our customer services, metering & billing and design build and operation contractors; secured investment from its shareholder Enfield Council; and… delivered two heat networks working with two different developers.

Since welcoming our first customers in October 2017 at the Arnos Grove heat network, we’ve had an action-packed fourteen months. Now with two heat networks in operation, we’re proud of our progress and achievements. We’re still at the beginning of our exciting journey as a publicly-owned energy company, but we only get to celebrate our first anniversary once.

So it’s a great time to pause and celebrate our favourite moments of the year….

 

Anniversary event for Arnos Grove customers - with signs and balloons

Anniversary event for Arnos Grove customers

1. The first of all firsts – welcoming customers at two heat networks

The Arnos Grove and Ponders End heat networks supply new developments in Enfield where regeneration of council estates is happening. The infrastructure has been designed, built and commissioned by the developers to our specification, then adopted by Energetik. We are using this approach for our Oakwood heat network as well.

We’ve had the luxury of starting small, with 39 customers at Arnos Grove and 30 at Ponders End (Electric Quarter) on our first anniversary. This has meant we’ve been able to spend time really getting to know these first customers and get their feedback on our processes and approaches. We’ve built these relationships through a series of engagement events and open days where we’ve invited customers to meet with us, ask us questions and visit the energy centre that produces the heat for their homes.

“It feels like Energetik is really part of the community here”

“The event was really good, it helped me understand the processes and how to use the system”

In our first customer satisfaction survey, we asked for honest feedback on a range of topics including the smart meter, value for money, our pay-as-you-go service, and how customers feel about us as their supplier. In response to the ‘killer question’, rating Energetik on a scale of one to ten to indicate how happy customers are with us overall, 67% scored us at eight out of ten or above, and 83% scored us at six or above.

 

2. Going ‘on tour’ with BEIS to support the launch of the Heat Networks Investment Programme (HNIP)

We were invited to support the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) nationwide roadshow. These events were to promote government’s £320 million Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP), which launched in October and will kick start the UK heat network market and drive significant growth.

Being an organisation that focuses on learning, sharing and improving we were very happy to share our story with other Local Authorities and organisations: passing on the lessons we’ve learned so far as a publicly-owned heat network company.

 

3. Getting name-checked in parliament

Energetik and Enfield Council received a positive mention in Westminster Hall during the debate on Heat Networks Regulation on 28 November 2018.

Energetik, mentioned by Richard Harrington MP and Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), was the only supplier explicitly mentioned during the debate, and certainly the only one given recognition in a positive light:

“There are many heat network suppliers that provide strong consumer protections, such as Energetik, established by Enfield Council to provide better value, reliable and environmentally-friendly energy. I hope that the service charter that Energetik provides to its customers sets out clearly the minimum standards of service they can expect, what measures they provide to those vulnerable customers needing extra help and how they can be contacted should something go wrong.”

 

Demonstrating levels of insulation used at Arnos Grove heat network

Demonstrating the difference in our insulation levels: the top pipe has the amount we use, which is 150% more than the British Standard amount (bottom pipe example)

4. Showing off our energy centre at the Arnos Grove heat network

You may have heard us mention that we like to do things differently at Energetik. And yes, we do go on about the importance of our technical specification, design approvals and commissioning processes to provide resilience and reliability for our customers.

The best way of demonstrating what this looks like in reality is of course to let people see for themselves. Over the course of this year we have run a series of visits to our energy centre at the Arnos Grove heat network, welcoming a wide range of colleagues, stakeholders and customers. the groups we’ve shown round range from Council members and officers, BEIS’ heat networks team, developers and social landlords, as well as residents.

 

Heat Trust logo for registered participants5. Heat Trust membership and Committee appointment

We joined Heat Trust as a Registered Participant this year, and both of our operational schemes: the Arnos Grove heat network and the Ponders End heat network. We must follow and abide by the rules and requirements set by Heat Trust, and undergo monitoring to ensure we are meeting the standards.

“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. 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. The Heat Trust Scheme is managed by Heat Customer Protection Limited – a not-for profit company.”

 

computer-generated image of the Meridian Water development masterplan

CGI of the Meridian Water masterplan, looking north. Image courtesy of Karakusevic Carson Architects

6. Submitting the planning application for our low-carbon energy centre and infrastructure to supply the Meridian Water heat network

Meridian Water is a major £6bn, 20-year London regeneration programme led by Enfield Council, bringing 10,000 homes and thousands of jobs to Enfield. The procurement process for a development partner for Phase One is underway through the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) London Development Panel.

Enfield is home to the North London Waste Authority (NLWA), which is building a new Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) to manage waste from seven London boroughs. Energetik will harness the heat created by this new facility as the main low-carbon heat source for the Meridian Water heat network. In line with the London Environment Strategy, this network with its very low-carbon renewable heat source will be a truly strategic asset to London’s future energy infrastructure.

We submitted our application to town planning to build our energy centre and the network infrastructure to supply the Meridian Water development in November this year. Based on the current development programme our energy centre will be operational in 2021, and will connect to the NLWA’s new ERF once it is commissioned in 2026 as part of the North London Heat and Power Project.

 

Enfield Councils Leader and Chief Executive visiting Energetiks Arnos Grove energy centre

Enfield Council’s Leader and Chief Executive visiting Energetik’s Arnos Grove energy centre

7. Helping to improve the industry: contributing to the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) study of the heat network industry and development of industry technical standards

The CMA recommended to government that heat networks should be regulated, and BEIS has responded to agree with the findings of the market investigation.

As an energy supplier focused only on heat networks, our customers have no ability to switch provider. That’s why we concentrate so hard on making sure we protect customers and deliver the best possible service: Energetik’s business model and practices have been developed to address what it considers to be the biggest failings in the currently unregulated UK heat network.

We fully support the move towards sector regulation to ensure heat networks can grow whilst providing enforceable and consistent service standards for all customers. Our response to the CMA market investigation is available to view online here.

The CMA also recommended that mandatory minimum technical standards are necessary to ensure high quality networks that deliver good outcomes for customers – BEIS has agreed with this recommendation. Our Technical Director Ian Guest is working with the Association for Decentralised Energy (the ADE) to provide his expertise in the development of these technical standards.

 

8. Featuring as a good practice example of public-sector led heat network in BEIS finance guide

Image of cover page: Financing heat networks in the UK - guidebook by Department for Business, Energy and Industrial StrategyWe’re pleased to feature in one of BEIS’ heat network guidance documents: published earlier this year ahead of the Heat Network Investment Project (HNIP) launch.

The guidebook, compiled by Grant Thornton LLP is titled ‘Financing heat networks in the UK’ and describes the issues, risks and opportunities around financing heat networks in the UK, supporting the move to a self-sustaining heat network market.

Our case study provides an example of a public sector-led ESCo and the innovative finance model we adopted to ensure the delivery of efficient heat networks at a fair price to customers, putting quality and service ahead of profit.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/736857/GRT107812_A4_Interactive_PDF_framework_Issued.pdf