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Heating customer protection scheme gets green light

Thousands of heating consumers can expect to be protected by industry initiative Heat Trust, after it was approved for launch following two years of industry, government and consumer group collaboration.

Association for Decentralised Energy director Dr Tim Rotheray welcomed the announcement: “As the role of district heating continues to grow, Heat Trust will be a vital tool to give peace of mind to heat customers. Consumers protected by the scheme will be afforded a new level of confidence in the quality of service they can expect and a free and independent arbitration service to rely on should there be a problem.”

Energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey confirmed the government’s ongoing support for the scheme: “Heat networks play a pivotal role in our transition to a low-carbon energy system, which is why we’re backing this scheme to give people access to the right help and protection.”

He added: “We are on the side of the consumer and have been clear that we will introduce tougher regulations if needed to ensure people are getting a fair deal.”

E.ON’s Community Energy business is the first energy supplier to commit to Heat Trust.

UK District Energy Association chairman Simon Woodward said the announcement was an important step forward for a growing and maturing industry.

The news follows Islington’s Council’s decision to hold a consultation on its communal heating system, after tenants complained of the five-month heating shut-off.