Join us to hear from BEIS about the development of a regulatory framework to protect consumers and from industry on what is being done to support heat network customers during these challenging times. We will also explain how HNIP ensures that customers will be treated fairly once the funded schemes are in operation.
The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy has recently closed a consultation on building a market framework for heat networks. The consultation set out policy options for establishing a market framework to deliver important consumer protections, equivalent to those offered to gas and electricity customers, as the market expands and proposals for protecting consumers including on transparency, pricing and quality of service standards.
The Heat Networks Industry Council (HNIC) was officially launched on Wednesday 3 June. Their vision sets out the aspiration that “consumers will have the same confidence in their networked heating, its reliability, and associated service and protection as they do today in their boilers.” In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the HNIC published new consumer protection agreement on 1 May 2020 which included measures to ensure all customers remain supplied with energy, heating and hot water through challenging times and supporting customers in financial distress. The Secretariat for the Heat Networks Industry Council is the Association for Decentralised Energy.
The agreement is supported by Heat Trust, an independent, non-profit consumer champion for heat network customers. In response to the national emergency, Heat Trust has issued specific guidance on vulnerable customers including making every reasonable effort to support and help a Heat Customer that experiences difficulty, including restructuring their payments so that they are manageable and affordable.
The Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP) requires funded projects to adhere to Heat Trust or equivalent standards. More information about the scheme eligiblity criteria, please refer to our Application Guidance.