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2018 hot topics and initiatives for heat networks

Posted by Ian Allan

With many initiatives and strategies announced in 2017 placing heat networks as an answer to clean heat in high dense areas; what does the New Year have in store for the industry? Our latest post explores some of the hot topics likely to take centre stage in 2018 and the initiatives that are worth keeping an eye on.

 

Heat Network Regulations

The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced in autumn that 2018 will see the introduction to the feasibility consultation along with updates to the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations. The announcement included an update on how many communal and district heating schemes have been notified to BEIS, along with updates to the final policies of the Law that will be put in place later in the New Year. To read the updates to the Regulation, click here.

CMA report

On 7th December the Competitions Market Authority (CMA) launched a market review into the heat network industry. The comprehensive market study will investigate whether households are getting a good deal from heating schemes due to a large proportion of customers at risk of paying too much or receiving a poor quality of service. To find out more on the actions of the report click here.

Clean Growth Strategy

With the UK committed to reduce greenhouse emissions by at least 80% by 2050; a number of initiatives such as the smart energy plan and improving the efficiencies in industry have been put in place. The Clean Growth Strategy announced late 2017; defined by the Government as ‘growing our national income while cutting greenhouse gas emissions’ core role is to help deliver that promise. Its purpose being to increase productivity, create jobs, boost earning power for people across the nation and help protect the climate and environment upon which we and future generations depend. To read more on how this will play a role in shaping heat networks click here.

BEIS report

The Clean Growth Strategy isn’t the only place we can see heat networks being one of the answers to carbon reduction; BEIS has adopted ‘Clean Growth’ as one of the ‘grand challenges’ facing the UK in their most recent Industrial Strategy White Paper. The strategy highlighted five priority areas in Clean Growth that will help transform construction techniques and energy making energy intensive industries competitive.   

Fixing the ‘broken’ housing market

A key focus at the Tory Party Conference was the announcement of Government plans to spend a further £2 billion on a ‘new generation’ of Council houses and affordable homes for rent. But how will this impact the already inflated housing need across Britain?  It is a cash injection that has been welcomed by Housing Associations and Councils across the UK but criticised by housing charities and other parties. So, what are the facts? Read our blog post to find out more.

What does this mean?

Well, we can definitely expect the spotlight to remain on community and district heating in 2018, and for it to be scrutinised by the CMA during their investigation; however this could only bring positives to customers and scheme owners of heat networks. We think that the new initiatives will play an important role in improving best practices and the joined up approach to how heating systems are designed, maintained and operated. And consequently improve the value and quality of heat back to the final customer.

Key takeaways

  • 2018 will be an important year for the heat network industry
  • The Heat Network Regulation is expected to be updated with the feasibility tool launched early in the New Year
  • A number of new initiatives from Government have expressed how heat networks can be a sustainable answer for high density areas
  • The CMA is due to carry out a market review on the heat network industry to ensure that households are getting a fair deal from heat networks

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Ian Allan

Head of R&D at Switch2

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