Heat 2015 Blog

Welcome to the Heat 2015 Blog

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
David Sheales

David Sheales

Heat Conference 2013 site developer

The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) and Vital Energi are delighted to announce that this year’s ADE Awards Dinner will be held at the Natural History Museum in London, marking the tenth anniversary of the Museum’s trigeneration scheme.

The ADE Awards celebrate the best in district heating, combined heat and power and demand side management. The Awards showcase real projects delivering energy cost savings, economic growth and carbon reductions to businesses and communities across the country.

“The Natural History Museum is a great place to celebrate the achievements of decentralised energy,” said Tim Rotheray, Director of the ADE. “Last year alone the Museum saved just under £1million on its energy bills through its partnership with Vital Energi and millions of visitors have benefited as a result.”

Vital Energi, sponsors of this year’s ADE Awards Dinner, are celebrating ten years working with the Natural History Museum. Its pioneering trigeneration scheme delivers heating, cooling and power to the museum, ensuring that priceless exhibits are kept in optimum conditions and that visitors have a great and comfortable experience.

Gary Fielding, Joint Managing Director at Vital Energi, commented, “We are honoured to sponsor this year’s ADE Awards. They do a fantastic job of spotlighting the outstanding work being done to reduce carbon emissions and generate more affordable energy. Hosting the awards at the Natural History Museum is a great way to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their trigeneration scheme and successful approach of achieving long term carbon and financial savings.”

Past ADE Award winners have ranged from district heating networks providing affordable warmth to low incomes households, to industrial energy centres reducing energy costs and boosting productivity, to innovative control systems and leading edge software ensuring that our energy system works as efficiently and effectively as possible.

The 2016 ADE Awards are now open for entries. The deadline for entries is Thursday 30 June. Full details of the awards and how to enter can be found at http://heatconference.co.uk/index.php/awards.

Hits: 112 0 Comments

As large energy suppliers announce household gas prices will go up by around 8%, just days after Ed Miliband’s price freeze promise, it is questionable as to whether regulated competition adequately protects customers and delivers value for money.

 A small but growing number of customers have their heat demand met by suppliers not covered by the gas or electricity regulations, with no role for Ofgem or the Energy Ombudsman in customer protection. In the UK, 97% of householders currently heat their homes and water through individual gas boilers, but around 2% of demand, is now served by heat networks. Heat networks (also called district heating) deliver heat from a local energy centre through a system of insulated pipes to homes and businesses. With radiators and thermostats heat network customers have the same experience as they would have with an individual solution, but with the advantage of not needing to purchase, maintain or insure a gas boiler or electric heaters. 

Recent estimates forecast investment in heat networks of about £500m in the coming years, which could mean that 14% of heating and hot water needs will be met by heat networks by 2030. This investment is likely to attract new suppliers and it is therefore a useful point at which to consider how to ensure that heat customers, who cannot switch suppliers, will receive appropriate standards of service and protection. With a one-in one-out approach to regulation established by this Government’s red tape challenge, is there an alternative to statutory protection for heat customers?

The district heating industry has been working with consumer representatives since 2012 and has drawn up proposals for a form of self-regulation. The Independent Heat Customer Protection Scheme proposals, launched for consultation last week, set out quality standards that suppliers must attain across all aspects of their domestic and micro-business heat supply agreements and supports this with proposals for an independent adjudication service; dispute resolution at no cost to the customer.

Price and price transparency are key concerns for all energy consumers. Under the Independent Heat Customer Protection Scheme proposals suppliers must provide customers with transparent heat charge calculations, indicate how prices might change in the future and provide an industry-wide heat charge comparator. The comparator would illustrate, for the heat network customer’s demand, what their costs would have been if they had a gas boiler or electric storage heater. The proposals also specify that suppliers must have alternative arrangements in place to ensure that customers continue to receive heat in the event that the supplier fails.

The consultation seeks views on whether these heat customer protection proposals are appropriate for a fledgling industry and whether they go far enough in terms of customer protection. Will the proposals help reduce perceived risks in the minds of heat network investors, thereby reducing the cost of capital? And will this, in turn, help to secure affordable heat for future network customers, putting consumers at the heart of the energy system, and delivering a better deal than state regulated electricity and gas markets?

Join us at Heat 2013 to have your say or submit your views through the consultation; open until 29 November. 

 


Nicola is the Policy and Development Manager at the Combined Heat and Power Association. The CHPA convenes meetings and provides secretariat to the Independent Heat Customer Protection Scheme. 

Hits: 3972 0 Comments
­