District heating is good value choice says conservative think tank

Date: 12 September 2016

UK: A new report by influential centre-right think tank Policy Exchange has today called for a regulatory investment framework to lower costs and benefit consumers. This recommendation echoes the Association for Decentralised Energy’s own recommendation, as well as that of the parliamentary Energy and Climate Change Committee.

The report, which recommends the investment framework should be overseen by the gas and electricity regulator Ofgem, suggests the model would make new heat infrastructure investable and ensure customer protection.

Responding to the report, ADE Director Dr Tim Rotheray said “There is growing consensus that new heat infrastructure needs a regulatory investment framework, from industry to parliament to academia. All of these different parts of the energy debate have recognised heat networks’ carbon and consumer benefits, and the need for heat networks to be treated on a level playing field as any other kind of network infrastructure, whether that is gas, electricity or water.”

The report also noted the need for regulation to ensure that district heating delivered for its customers. On consumer protection, Rotheray noted:

“Effective customer protection is vital. That is why over two years ago the industry initiated Heat Trust to mirror the gas and power industry rules for customer protection. This, along with the technical code of practice for district heating, provide the cornerstones to ensure heat networks deliver for customers.

“As Policy Exchange highlighted in its own report, an investment framework must be set alongside new customer protection obligations. The ADE will be leading the development of a plan to deliver this cost effective and meaningful regulatory framework.”

Source: The Association for Decentralised Energy