Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) has welcomed news that the Competition and Markets Authority is to investigate the market in district heating networks (i.e. where heat is supplied to multiple homes from one central source).
Kate Morrison, energy spokesperson for the Consumer Futures Unit at CAS, says:
“District heating has potential benefits to warmth, cost and carbon reduction, and the sector is set to grow significantly in Scotland. However, unlike gas and electricity, district heating is currently un-regulated, and it isn't possible to switch between suppliers.
“Earlier this year the CAS Consumer Futures Unit called for a statutory licensing scheme for district suppliers to protect consumers as the sector expands. We therefore welcome today’s announcement by the CMA that they will investigate the heat market.
“We have consistently called for greater safeguards for consumers in this area, and we see cases relating to issues with district heating in our local CABs. These can include problems such as sudden price rises and huge unexpected bills, with no option to switch supplier.
“In our recent research, we highlighted the need for change in this market, and demonstrated how this may be done at a Scottish level. We are now working closely with the Scottish Government on proposed regulatory frameworks to ensure that the heat market genuinely works for consumers.”
The CMA announcement is at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cma-examines-heat-networks