Which? response to CMA’s initial findings on heat networks study

Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said:

“With more and more people getting their energy through heat networks, action is needed to ensure that consumers are better protected. We’ve heard from people who have had issues with their bills, have struggled to get their complaints resolved, and who have not been given clear information about these networks before moving into a property.

“The competition authorities are right to recommend steps to make heat networks better regulated, to ensure that people have access to an Ombudsman and to give them clear and transparent information. It’s vital that this now results in a better deal for the half a million households who get heating through these schemes.”

Notes to editors:

  • In 2015, Which? published a report to better understand the consumer experience around district heating schemes. It conducted a series of focus groups and telephone interviews with consumers on district heating. Which? also collected price data on more than 50 schemes supplying heat to around 87,000 households.
  • Previously, Which? called for:
    • better reporting on costs and efficiency of networks
    • better complaints handling, including access to an ombudsman for all district heating consumers
    • more transparency on costs particularly before tenants and buyers move into a property
    • consideration of regulation of prices.