Community energy metering and billing specialist ENER-G Switch2 has welcomed proposals by consumer group Which? to increase protection for district heating customers.
The Which? ‘turning up the heat on district heating’ report recognises that community energy has an important role to play in decarbonising energy supplies and reducing costs, but calls for government regulation to build on voluntary schemes in making good practice mandatory.
Kirsty Lambert, Director of ENER-G Switch2, said: “Many of the issues raised in the report are already being addressed, such as the new Heat Trust, which will introduce self regulation to the sector. As a member of the Heat Trust steering committee we are committed to increasing transparency and upholding exemplary standards in service delivery to help to build customer trust and confidence in district heating. Although voluntary and industry-led, the Scheme is supported by government, industry and consumer groups, including Which?”.
She continued: “The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 will also bring new mandatory standards to the sector. By 2016, meters or heat costs allocators must be installed for all final customers, where feasible, to ensure accurate billing. New details must be shown on bills to make the charges more transparent and show consumers what they are paying for.
“Together, these two changes will improve industry standards, but the heat industry is growing rapidly in the UK and it is important that all suppliers adhere to best practice, rather than a minority who have committed to the Heat Trust code of practice. We are also very supportive of initiatives from CIBSE and DECC, including the recent Assessment of the Costs, Performance, and Characteristics of UK Heat Networks, which aim to promote better standards of design and installation for district heating schemes”.
ENER-G Switch2 has more than 30 years experience as a provider of metering, billing and prepayment services to community and district heating schemes – serving 50,000 dwellings across 400 sites. The company works with local authorities, housing associations and private landlords to help optimise energy efficiency, keep costs fair, and protect the most vulnerable residents from fuel poverty.
Further information: www.energswitch2.com