Richard Slee, chief executive of Switch2 Energy
The Heat Networks Industry Council members have agreed a package of measures to make sure that all customers remain supplied with energy, heating and hot water through challenging times.
This includes identifying and prioritising customers at risk, supporting customers who are experiencing financial distress, supporting pay-as-you-go customers to stay on supply and advising and guiding customers on the help that's available.
Richard Slee, chief executive of Switch2 Energy, which is part of the scheme, said: 'The coronavirus pandemic is hitting household finances hard and we are determined that our customers don't go without heat and hot water if they are struggling to pay their bills. We would urge all heat network providers across the sector to sign up to this voluntary agreement so that we can ensure that no customers are left unprotected during this difficult period.'
So far, the agreement has been signed by: EDF Energy, ENGIE, Energetik, E.ON, Insite Energy, Metropolitan UK, Pinnacle Power, SSE Heat Networks Ltd, Switch2, Vattenfall, Veolia , Vital Energi, and Dan McGrail in his role as Chair of the Heat Networks Industry Council.
The agreement is also supported by Heat Trust, which is a consumer champion for heat network customers. In response to the national emergency, Heat Trust has issued specific guidance on vulnerable customers including making every reasonable effort to support and help a Heat Customer that experiences difficulty, including restructuring their payments so that they are manageable and affordable.
The Heat Networks Industry Council was established by the Association for Decentralised Energy(ADE), who provide the Secretariat and will maintain a public updated list of signatories to the agreement.