Community and district heating specialist Switch2 Energy has welcomed proposals by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to regulate the heat network sector.
This chimes with earlier recommendations for a new regulatory framework from the Heat Network Task Force, which is supported by Switch2.
In its Shared Warmth report, the industry task force, led by the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE), set out how better regulation could reduce investment risk and raise performance standards.
This research has supported the CMA's newly published heat networks market study which proposes greater protection for customers.
Switch2 Energy's Ian Allan, who is a member of the Heat Network Task Force, said: “The anticipated expansion of the heat network sector means that the voluntary codes of practice and customer service standards, that Switch2 helped to develop, need to be reinforced to ensure consistent best practice across the entire industry.
“Regulating the sector will drive higher performance standards. This will increase resident satisfaction and protection, while encouraging further investment in the sector.
“Community and district heating schemes have an important role to pay in decarbonising the UK heat supply. With mandatory regulation, we can ensure that all heat networks can deliver on their full potential to provide affordable, green and reliable heat to residents.”
The CMA is consulting on its heat network recommendations until May 31 2018 and is expected to publish its conclusions this summer.
The CMA believes that regulation will increase consumer protection, improve design and build of heat networks, increase transparency, and achieve better price and quality controls.
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