The pressure is on for heat network operators to deliver quality heat networks, and a primary focus is being placed on customer standards and fair pricing. In an industry that has been widely unregulated, this will be a huge leap for some. However, a much smoother transition is expected for operators who have committed to delivering optimal heat network performance, supplying heat at competitive market rates (by partnering with heat network experts – designers, contractors and consultants), and adopting current industry best practices.
A consultation focusing on customer standards and fair pricing has been issued jointly by Ofgem, and the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. This marks the next step in the implementation of Heat Network Regulation, and prioritises consumer protection measures. From as early as 2025 Ofgem will execute enforcement powers against heat network operators where customers experience problems with service standards, cost of heat and reliability of supply.
As development of the legislation continues, further areas will be consulted on. These will include Heat Network Zoning, statutory rights and powers for licensed heat network suppliers, step-in arrangements, technical standards and carbon emissions limits.