ENERGY PRICES ACT, NOVEMBER '22
IMPACT OF THE ENERGY BUSINESS RELIEF SCHEME ON DOMESTIC HEAT NETWORK CUSTOMERS, SEPT '22
The Energy Prices Act came into force on 1st November 2022 and provides the legislative framework to deliver the winter package of energy support. There is specific and immediate actions for all heat network operators. Download the overview we gave at THN meeting on 2nd November of our understanding of the requirements (last updated 10.11.22). Information is also available on the BEIS website here and on the Heat Trust website here.
We have written to the Secretary of State for BEIS to express our concerns regarding the ways in which the Energy Business Relief Scheme does not offer domestic heat network customers equivalent support to other domestic customers, despite Government promises. We propose a three-pronged approach:
Seperately identify domestic customers on a commercial gas supply and then a) increase the discount avaiable to them, b) backdate the discount to October 2021 and c) extend the discount to October 2024.
Put in place the consumer protections for heat customers, as currently proposed in the Energy Security Bill
Further expand the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES) to accelerate technical improvements to existing heat networks to improve their performance and reduce costs
RECOVERING THE COST OF HEAT NETWORKS REGULATION CONSULTATION RESPONSE, FEB '22
HEAT NETWORK ZONING CONSULTATION RESPONSE, NOVEMBER '21
OPEN LETTER TO BEIS ON THE HEAT NETWORK MARKET FRAMEWORK, MARCH '21
As part of their ongoing work to develop the Heat Network Market Framework, BEIS issued a short consultation on recovering the cost of heat networks regulation in December 2021. The consultation confirms that all gas, electricity and heat network customers will equally share the cost of heat network regulation, which The Heat Network is very supportive of. Limiting the cost recovery of regulation to just heat network customers would have made it comparatively very expensive: we're keen to keep heat costs for social housing customers as low and fair as possible. You can download our response to the consultation here.
BEIS are proposing establishing heat network zones in England, areas where heat networks are the most appropriate solution for decarbonising heating and will be prioritised through a national and regional framework. As part of the drive towards our net zero 2050 targets, the Heat Network broadly supports the proposals as realistic, proportionate and flexible. Communal heating will become a strategic load for these heat networks but they are not without risk. It's therefore important that that the social housing sector has a voice as the proposals are developed. You can download our response to the consultation here.
The Heat Network has been attending BEIS' Stakeholder Board for the Heat Network Framework since last summer, to represent the social housing sector. We have written this open letter to BEIS to amplify our voice. Our #1 message is that the cost of regulation must be kept low. As not-for-profit heat network operators, we will have to pass the entire cost of regulation on to our residents: there is no buffer for us to absorb any of the costs. We also need more clarity on the roadmap to regulation for the social housing sector, with all the complications that may entail. The letter goes in to these and other points in more detail. We have also invited BEIS to meet with us to discuss our concerns further.