Open consultation: Heat networks: building a market framework

In order to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, nearly all heat in buildings will need to be decarbonised. Heat networks are a crucial aspect of the path towards decarbonising heat.

In this consultation, we are seeking views on policy options for regulating heat networks to protect consumers and ensure fair pricing, while supporting market growth and the development of low-carbon networks.

This consultation sets out:

  • measures to increase levels of investment in the sector, such as provision of market information and support for strengthening local approaches that will help generate additional demand certainty on projects
  • policy options for establishing a market framework to deliver important consumer protections, equivalent to those offered to gas and electricity customers, as the market expands
  • proposals relating to the choice of regulator, the regulatory approach, enforcement powers and step-in arrangements
  • proposals for protecting consumers including on transparency, pricing and quality of service standards
  • proposals for developing technical standards and certification and accreditation processes to improve the quality, cost and reliability of heat networks
  • proposals for giving heat networks equivalent rights and powers (such as undertaker or statutory access rights) compared with other utilities
  • proposals to drive decarbonisation of heat networks and use of waste-heat sources

We have also published:

  • an impact assessment – providing indicative costs of each regulatory option considered
  • the International review of heat networks market frameworks – commissioned by BEIS from CAG consultants – an important resource to understand how other countries have approached heat network regulation

Extension to consultation end date

In the light of COVID-19, we have extended the consultation period to give people more time to respond.

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