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What is an open access heat network?

Posted by Ian Allan

Summer read: Top five heat network topics

Posted by Kirsty Lambert

It has been the hottest summer since 1976, and with the summer holidays finally here; our short summer read is just what you need to keep you in the know about the sector. Our blog post looks at some of the hot topics from 2018 (a perfect read in between child-minding, or during a lunch break).


The CMA heat network report

When the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) announced its final report on the market study of the heat network sector.; it highlighted three areas of concern; design and build, monopoly and transparency. Armed along with recommendations of regulation, we are likely to see vast changes to regulation for heat networks in the coming months and years. Our infographic pinpoints some of the key recommendations and how we are likely to see regulation take form. To read a simple guide to the heat network  regulation, click here.

Addressing the monopoly

It is a well known challenge that heat networks can be perceived as a monopoly. But why? And how are heat networks different to the national grid and domestic gas boilers?

Due to the complexity of a heat network, it can be tricky to understand the roles and responsibilities of the supply chain, and even more so when it comes to switching suppliers. Our blog looks at why this can be. To read this post, click here.

The differences between community and district heating

The CMA report highlighted how the industry and its customers do not understand the concepts of community and district heating, and typically we find that many people in the supply chain do not either.  

Heat networks are a way of centralising heat generation, taking advantage of larger scale generation and renewable energy sources such as excess heat from industrial processes. But what role does community and district heating play? And how are they different? Read our blog; the difference between community and district heating, click here.

Getting the customer protection right

Many building owners are challenged with either upgrading community heating systems or converting buildings with gas or electricity. Without engaging and communicating with residents It may be the case that some residents remain wary and sceptical about community district heating schemes; especially when they will be contractually tied into one supplier. Our blog looks at ways of improving this process, to read this blog post, click here.


What is an open access heat network?

Open or closed protocol systems for heat networks, what is the difference and what's best for you and your residents?

If you have been or are involved in procuring a PAYG or smart metering system of a heat network you will have no doubt come across the terms “open protocol” and “open access” but what do they mean? Our blog post, what is an open access heat network explains. Click here to read more.

Key takeaways

  • The final CMA market study report was released in July 2018
  • The report included recommendations on regulations around transparency, monopoly and design and build
  • Community heating is a centralised heating system that supplies heat and hot water to one building block with more than one heat customer
  • Whereas district heating system is the distribution of heat from a large scale generation, usually found in cities
  • Residents need to be fully aware of the works at an early stage in the project
  • Open access allows the ability for heat networks to change billing provider
  • Have a great summer!

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Kirsty Lambert

Business Development Director at Switch2

A skilled director and leader with both operational and commercial experience, Kirsty has over 10 years’ experience in the community and district heating industry.

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