Heat networks otherwise known as district heating, supply heat to consumers from one central source through a series of underground pipes.
Discover more about how heat networks can be used to heat homes and commercial buildings.
Heating your home
If your home is connected to a heat network, you won’t notice much difference to having a gas boiler heating your home. Though there are some differences in the heating equipment installed in your home.
We’ve listed some of these pieces of equipment below to give you an idea of what being connected to a heat network would look and feel like in a domestic property.
Heat interface unit (HIU)
The HIU (looks like a boiler) is usually situated within your home heating cupboard and contains the equipment used to control heat and hot water coming in and out of your property.
The heating and hot water entering your home is recorded by a heat meter, which is read remotely or in person by your billing agent. This heat meter is usually located on the front of the HIU.
Controls, including programmer and thermostat
You’ll still be able to control the heat and hot water in your home. The heating controls allow you to manage the temperature and timing of heating and hot water similarly to most other types of domestic heating methods.
You might also have a smart meter installed with an in-home display so you can view usage/consumption information, costs, meter readings. If you’re on pay-as-you-go you’ll also be able to see the credit balance and other payment information through the smart meter.
Support for heat network consumers
The Government is putting in place policy and regulations that put consumers at the heart of heat network market growth, with new regulatory powers to ensure all consumers are treated fairly and networks are run to high standards. They are also helping operators run their heat networks as cost-efficiently as possible, delivering further savings for consumers.
Heat Trust was launched in November 2015 as an independent, non-profit consumer champion for heat networks that holds the industry to account for the benefit of everyone involved.
Citizens Advice provides free, independent advice to consumers. Its website includes a wealth of information and guidance for households supplied by heat networks, along with useful tips for those considering moving into homes heated this way.
The Government is appointing Ofgem as the heat networks regulator for Great Britain to ensure consumers receive a fair price and reliable supply of heat as we make the transition to net zero. It is expected that regulation will come into force in 2024.