Heat network customers consider legal claim

Commercial status means no energy price cap for users

A law firm is investigating whether to mount a group legal claim on behalf of heat network customers, who do not enjoy the same level of protection as others from spiralling energy bills.

Customers who receive their heating via communal networks are not protected by the energy price cap, which is set by Ofgem. The energy regulator classifies supply to heat networks as a commercial, not domestic, arrangement, so customers do not benefit from the energy bills price cap.

In 2017-18, the Competition and Markets Authority recommended that protection available to consumers with their own domestic heating, such as gas boilers, should be extended to heat network users.

Operators of heat networks will benefit from some support for business energy bills, announced in the autumn by the government. However, this does not deliver the same protection as that given to consumers in the