A new report from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) says that consumers in the district heating market are not getting value for money.
A Citizens Advice Scotland consumer spokesman explained: “The CMA’s provisional conclusion that district heating should be regulated is good news for the 40,000 households in Scotland that could be connected to heat networks by 2020.
“Last year we recommended that heat networks in Scotland should be licensed, and we are delighted that the CMA are considering a similar approach.
“District Heat consumers currently lack the protections that gas and electricity consumers have.
“To ensure that they have confidence in the heat market, and that it grows in line with Scottish and UK Government targets, it is critical that consistent protections in areas such as billing, metering , complaints and pricing are put in place, as set out in our research.
“Our role is to stand up for fairness for all consumers in Scotland, and to provide them with high quality advice and support in solving their problems. This includes helping provide fair and affordable access to domestic heating. “
Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, added: “Heat networks can often result in lower bills for customers and help reduce the emissions produced from heating our homes and businesses so it is important to ensure these customers have the same protections as those connected to the gas network.
“As we set out in our recent report, Kick-starting the Decarbonisation of Heat, it is essential that we see action without further delay if we are to continue to meet our emissions reduction targets.
“Establishing consumer protection is an important first step in ensuring that we can deploy large-scale, low carbon heating in a way which best meets the needs of the customer.”
11 May 2018