Money Wellness
Image of a row of social housing homes
category iconcost of living
calendar icon08 Aug 2023

Households on heat networks set to be given a fairer energy deal

Some of the lowest income households in the country who pay for their energy through a heat network are set to get a better deal under new plans set out by the government.

Heat networks supply heating and hot water from a single source which is shared between several homes or buildings. Around 1 in 25 houses in England get their energy from a heat network. But it's most commonly used in social housing with 1 in 12 households being part of a heat network. 

Currently heat networks aren't regulated as they're treated as housing service charges, which means they don't benefit from Ofgem's energy price cap or service standards. 

The new proposals will ensure heat network customers receive similar protection to people on traditional gas and electricity contracts and will be included in any future price caps.

It comes at a vital time for many of these households with their energy bills set to skyrocket.

Heat networks purchase their energy at rates fixed for one or two years. As these deals start to expire, energy bills will double or even increase by 500-700% in some cases.

The proposed changes will also ensure a more consistent standard of service and a clearer billing system.

And vulnerable customers, such as the elderly or those living with health conditions, are also sent to be offered more help with heat network operators being made to keep a register of customers who require additional support.

For more information on the proposals, visit Hundreds of thousands of heat network customers to benefit from fairer energy prices - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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