The regulator for the gas and electricity markets in Great Britain, Ofgem, visited Energetik’s energy centre in Arnos Grove recently to talk about Enfield Council’s heat network company, its best practice and how it protects customers.
Energetik, the energy company solely owned by Enfield Council, hosted the tour and demonstrated the local authority’s commitment to providing cost-effective energy, tackling fuel poverty and cutting emissions from heat.
The Heat Trust, which is the independent consumer protection scheme for heat network customers, recommended Energetik’s Arnos Grove facility as one of the shining lights in municipally led heat networks. All of the energy company’s schemes are registered with the Heat Trust to provide added assurance for its customers.
Ofgem Chairman, Martin Cave, along with other senior representatives were joined by the Council’s Chief Executive, Ian Davis and Energetik’s team who gave a tour of the Arnos Grove heat network which supplies new homes at Ladderswood Way, now known as Montmorency Park. This is a major housing renewal project, which includes 93 social housing properties and over 500 homes in total.
The Competition and Markets Authority is of the view that Ofgem should take on the role of sector regulator for the heat industry. Ofgem’s current role is to protect the interests of existing and future consumers, particularly those who are most vulnerable, in the electricity and gas markets.
Energetik has long argued that the heat network industry should be regulated to protect customers and the future of the industry. Customer protection is embedded into the work practise of the energy company. Read Energetik’s blog on the subject, here.
Jayne Clare, Energetik’s Managing Director, said: “We’re thrilled to have hosted Ofgem and demonstrate how our heat networks are delivering better value energy that’s reliable and environmentally friendly, while returning benefits to the local area at the same time. As a council-owned company, our approach is designed to address the issues that lead to customers suffering any unfair detriment from being connected to our heat networks.
“This is driven by our focus on providing high quality and excellent customer service across every detail of our business, from the equipment specification, commissioning processes and maintenance contracts to our flexible pay-as-you-go payment methods. We want to support the future growth of this industry, and firmly believe that regulation is essential to 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.”
Martin Cave, Ofgem Chairman added: “It has been fascinating to visit the Energetik heat network. I’m particularly pleased to see local residents, including those in social housing, enjoy more affordable and environmentally sustainable heating and hot water.
“Heating of homes and businesses is currently responsible for one third of the UK’s carbon emissions. Although Ofgem does not currently regulate heat networks, we will continue to work with government and stakeholders to support innovative schemes to decarbonise our heating processes to help hit the target of net zero emissions by 2050.”
Energetik’s heat networks are supplying homes around the borough as part of major regeneration projects in Enfield. Over 100 homes are connected to three heat networks to date. As well as the Arnos Grove network, the Electric Quarter and new Alma Estate are both connected to the Ponders End heat network, and the New Avenue estate is supplied by the Oakwood heat network. The Meridian Water heat network will be the energy company’s largest, using energy from waste to supply very low-carbon heat to all 10,000 new homes.
Header image shows the presentation to Ofgem with Enfield Council CEO Ian Davis.