The UK heat network industry has given government its recommendations for growing the sector and protecting its customers.
The recommendations, released yesterday as part of the industry collaborative Heat Network Task Force, calls for a regulatory framework to reduce investment risk. The recommendations also set out how to ensure customer protection and heat network build and operation standards.
The report recommends a regulatory framework that would see heat network developers commit to meeting minimum standards for pricing and customer services, and also sets out plans for decarbonisation, and reducing investment risk. The Association for Decentralised Energy (The ADE), which led the Task Force, said the creation of a regulatory framework would provide a significant boost to the market, while reducing risk, and the cost of capital investment.
Claire Perry, Energy and Clean Growth Minister, said: “Heat networks offer huge potential to reduce carbon emissions from our homes and businesses, deliver significant cost savings for consumers and create thousands of skilled jobs.
“Our Clean Growth Strategy sets out how we will support the market to build and extend heat networks across the country. That’s why we are investing £320m in the Heat Networks Investment Project and why we welcome the Heat Network Task Force report which sets out clear proposals on how to reduce investment risk and develop a market which provides strong protections for consumers.”
The report coincides with new research undertaken by the ADE that reveals a growing industry which is decarbonising through increasing renewables and heat generation efficiency. Recent research by BEIS has also revealed that UK heat networks are on average £100 cheaper than alternative available heating solutions.
Victoria Keen, Head of Sustainability at The Guinness Partnership said: “The Guinness Partnership welcomes the recommendations made by the Task Force, and the positive impact that raising standards through collaborative action will bring for our future heat network customers.
“We recognise the value and potential of heat networks in delivering lower carbon and lower cost heat to our customers, and the vital role that shared industry knowledge has to play in further lowering prices and improving overall customer experience.”