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The Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS) requires heat network operators to apply for fuel discounts by the 29th June 2023. This scheme runs up until 31st March 2024 and replaces the Energy Bill Relief Scheme. The government have estimated that the new discount will save heat network customers £800/annum.

The online application process for the Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS) will require organisations to provide information regarding relevant energy supply contract(s) and applicable meter information. The EBDS will provide support with energy bills for eligible non-domestic customers as well as additional support for heat networks. This support aims to maintain a set wholesale price for electricity and gas.

Heat network operators with domestic customers will be legally required to apply and pass-through the benefits to customers. Domestic customers will be able to complain to the Energy Ombudsman, or equivalent bodies, if they think they have not received the benefit. Heat tariffs will therefore need to be updated to account for this discount.

The support for domestic heat network customers was not as clear as households supported by the Energy Price Guarantee (EPD). To address this the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has targeted fuel rates for heat networks receiving the EBDS of 7.8p/kWh for gas and 34p/kWh for electricity. Like the main scheme this only applies to the wholesale element of the fuel rate. This support can appear watered down if the wholesale element is relatively small, despite efforts to meet the target rates.  Therefore, discounts will vary from site to site.

To lower and sustain network costs, network operators must look to tackle system-wide inefficiencies that have significant impacts on customer bills.