Switch2 welcomes wider access to heat network customer protection

More heat network schemes will be able to register with Heat Trust from 1 April
Community and district heating specialist Switch2 Energy has welcomed news that Heat Trust is opening up wider access to its free and independent heat network customer protection scheme.

From 1 April 2019, thousands more people who receive heat via a heat network will be able to use Heat Trust’s complaint resolution and minimum customer service standards.

This follows a decision by Heat Trust to extend eligibility requirements to more heat network suppliers. Those who provide clear terms of service within a customer charter, or equivalent, will now be able to register their schemes.  Previously, registration has only been open to suppliers with a Heat Energy Supply Agreement in place.

Heat Trust Head of Scheme Bindi Patel, explained: “The change recognises that many heat network suppliers, particularly housing associations and local authorities, often capture heating and hot water provision in tenancy or leasehold agreements as opposed to a specific Heat Energy Supply Agreement.

“By opening up eligibility to these operators, who can demonstrate they have clear commitments to specific service standards and terms and conditions in place, we are able to offer Heat Trust benefits to thousands more customers.”

Richard Slee, CEO of Switch2 Energy, said: “We are proud to be a founding member of Heat Trust and of the customer service standards and protection that we offer our heat network customers. It is excellent news that more heat schemes will now be able to register and commit to delivering the highest levels of service and quality.”

Switch2 has published a free online guide ‘A Heat Supply You Can Trust’ to help heat suppliers comply with Heat Trust’s voluntary code of practice by raising  quality and customer service standards.

Heat Trust launched in November 2015. It sets out a common standard in the quality and level of customer service that heat suppliers should provide their customers. It also provides an independent process with the Energy Ombudsman for settling complaints between customers and their heat supplier. This service is free for customers to access.

Although membership of Heat Trust is voluntary, the scheme is supported by government and consumer groups and provides a way forward for statutory regulation.

Further information:  www.heattrust.org  www.switch2.co.uk

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