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Introduction to Heat Trust’s Heat Cost Calculator

Heat Trust is an industry-led customer protection scheme for domestic and micro-business customers served by district heating and communal heating networks.

Read this article to find out more about the launch of its Heat Cost Calculator. 

 

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Following its launch, Heat Trust has been looking at the provision of information available to customers about district and communal heating.  

Unlike other energy customers, district heating customers are unable to change heating providers, so there is no easy way to ‘shop around’ for alternative providers. In addition, it can be difficult to compare the charges associated with district heating with those of heating with gas or electricity.

To help increase the information available to customers, Heat Trust plans to launch a Heat Cost Calculator on its website in September.
 
The Heat Cost Calculator will be an online tool that will provide district heating customers with an indication of what it could cost to heat a similar-sized property using an individual gas boiler. The results, while only intended to be a guide rather than an accurate household assessment, will help contribute to improving transparency in the sector. The main findings gained by the calculator will be fed back to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).  
 
The calculator will be most relevant for new-build properties that are individually heat-metered. Where district heating customers pay for their heating and hot water through rent and/or a service charge, the calculator will be less reliable, as it assumes a single heat bill that the customer pays for directly.
 
Heat networks managed by councils and housing associations may, therefore, be less likely to have a realistic comparison with gas heating under the Heat Cost Calculator.
 
To help ensure customers are aware of the scope and intent of the calculator, a customer information sheet and a set of FAQs will be available on the Heat Trust website, along with all background assumptions used by the calculator. Users of the calculator will be required to confirm that they have read the customer information sheet before accessing the service.

The Heat Cost Calculator is a starting point. The Heat Trust is looking to develop the tool further so that a comparison against electric heating can also be made. Feedback on the tool will also be used to inform future developments and improvements to the information that the Heat Cost Calculator can provide.  
 
If you have any questions concerning the calculator or the Heat Trust scheme, please contact Bindi Patel on bindi.patel@heattrust.org or 020 3031 8748.