/ Home & Energy, Sustainability

Could you warm to a district heating scheme?

A tiny house in someone's hands

District heating schemes could be a low-carbon solution for energy supplies, but customers are not protected by consumer regulations. Are you part of a shared heating scheme?

At Which?, we believe that for the energy market to be truly competitive, it needs to be far easier for people to compare the prices of different suppliers and switch to the cheapest one for them.

But for the 200,000 or so households who get their energy from a district heating scheme instead of through the wires and pipes of the National Grid, there is no choice of supplier. So with major interest in increasing the number of homes connected to district heating, otherwise known as a heat network, how do we ensure these people get a good deal?

What are district heating schemes?

If you’ve never heard of district heating schemes, they supply homes and businesses with heat through a network of pipes that take hot water or steam from a power plant (essentially a huge boiler) to individual properties.

Schemes can be powered by a diverse range of fuel sources, including low-carbon and renewables. Typical technologies used include energy from waste incineration, biomass fuel, and combined heat and power (CHP) plants.

CHP is an efficient use of fuel. Electricity is generated and the heat created by the process (which would usually just be waste heat) is used for another purpose, such as heating water that can then be pumped round pipes to heat homes. CHP can be gas-fired or fuelled by biomass. Therefore, district heating is potentially a more flexible and environmentally friendly way to heat more homes, as it is not dependent on just one type of fuel.

Turning up efficiency, but turning down choice

The downside is that directly connecting homes to a specific source of energy means it is virtually impossible to give people a choice of supplier. Households have very little control over who supplies their heat and the price they pay is not subject to the competitive pressures you find in a market where companies have to compete to attract and retain customers.

Households on mains electricity and gas are also protected by regulations set by Ofgem that suppliers have to comply with as a condition of their licence to supply energy. The same is not true for people on district heating. There is no consumer protection regulation at the moment and, therefore, no standards of service for the sector.

Are you on a heat network at the moment? Do you think you pay a fair price for your energy?

If you’re not on a heat network, how would you feel about living somewhere that’s connected to one? Does Ofgem need to step in to protect consumers, or could industry self-regulation be enough to ensure consumers benefit from good service and fair prices?

Comments
Gerard Phelan says:
22 March 2013

I recently visited a friend living in a new build flat in Munich. His heating and hot water comes via a district heating system. Thus he has no boiler in his flat and simple plumbing, just a water meter on the incoming hot water pipe. I have just had to pay £3200 for a new boiler / flue and have been paying £250 a year for servicing cover, so I can see that district heating would avoid these costs. That would go a long way to offset any price disadvantage from the lack of supply competition.

Mat Giles says:
22 July 2013

I don’t believe it does. A boiler should be closer £2500 and your service cover should be costing you half that amount at least (you need to shop around more and use an independent insurer). When you factor in that a boiler needs to be replaced every 11 years, it just doesn’t add up. My heating is about £600 extra a year with DH- that adds up £6,600 over the same period. It may be better regulated in other EU countries where the system has been in practice for longer but it has not been my experience in London thus far (where it has only just been recently introduced).

I’m not sure if that’s true because whilst some district heating supplier promise savings their price comparison is more or less tracking the high end of a new gas boiler.

CHP reality check says:
23 March 2013

I work within the social housing sector. These CHP schemes (and other low/zero carbon initiatives) have been forced on housing providers on many large developments as part of the planning requirements – but there are real concerns that in reality the Biomass fuel options are too expensive and so they generally run on gas. Running costs for residents do appear more expensive, they can’t control their costs like they can with a normal key meter and there is no alternative option for them. Metering systems are also ineffective and expensive on this small scale which means many schemes are billed ‘equally’ across all users, so there is no incentive for individuals to reduce their heat/hot water usage. Landlords end up having to collect fuel costs, exposing them to heavy losses (these are charitable housing associations not commercial companies with shareholders) where low income tenants are struggling with fuel poverty issues this makes a difficult landlord/tenant position even worse, that can potentially lead to eviction for breach of tenancy. A nice idea on paper, no doubt made people feel they were making a great environmental impact, ticked a box for politicians and planners, but so much more work needs to be done to make these effective and low income tenants shouldn’t be the guinea pigs in the meantime.

country gal says:
31 July 2013

thye are fine inpricipal but as a current user
here are my personal experience
my meter clocks up 3 – 4 units a day all on it own
i use 4 units for hot water so the metering is doubling my bill instantly on a 24 hrs basis
my house is not insulated landlord turned down councils kind of of wall ans secondary glazing its open eved and a wind blows through it on windy night s
its vitually finacial unheatable .
so the chp hot water heating cst betwennn 40 and 80 anything you like depending on time of yer and frezzing weather conditions just to try and maintain som elevel of cpmfort so icant afford to use it
as im on my own 60 and disabled on little money . i use it for a treat at christmas and if im ill and cant light my wood burner or get the wood in
fuel poverty yes and as getting older feel the cold
anyone interested of course not youve got to die of hypothermia first
except council but they had no clout to inforce it so here i am again looking forward toanother winter in one room and freeze in the others .
so you can put as many green istallation in the world into practice untill homes are forefully insulated there will always be some of the population cant afford heating whatever the cost
i eat not heat . cant wait to get my pension then ill be a whole 40 pounds a week better of maybe then ill have some heat on occaions where i cant stand the cold
out house has always cost loads to heat but when there was a husband working as well we paid for it even though it was still expensive that was calor and then oil all liquid gold and moreso re the house ineffiency to retain heat
when one person has a house toheat it costs the same but there is no thoughtgiven to that when doing the sums .
one person cant live as cheaply as two so bang goes the theorys on loads of calculations

on meters no they can and do go wrong or something does ive yet to find out in my case why
so im stuffed cant afford the heating new age or not and when i use it for hot water it doubles my bill
incidently if i stop using it altogether it still clocks up 3-4 units
does my landlord believe me ??
nop i think he just thiks im a pain in the but.
these peopel dont know what its like to live at the other end of the money scale
personally i cant wait till im dead im so bored with the whole aspect of life on a shoestring

country gal says:
29 August 2013

heating meter now fixed stopped clocking up it was the wrong valves that had been used so its now finally stopped
so for those of you who find the meter still moves even when your its not on the valves are to be condsidered

Rand Wright says:
28 November 2013

I recently joined a company that manufactures Pre-Payment metering systems. Have you considered this as a possible solution?

One has to question the effectiveness of heat transfer using a HIU within the dwelling.

Maybe it’s time for the Which? Magazine to measure the performance of customers HIU and ask the Heat Trust why they don’t cover the technical aspect of the delayed control valve that influences the heat consumption without the customers knowledge.

The general concept of District heating is good, there are saving in scale and efficiency to be made and if using waste heat from industry or commercial premises to be encouraged.
However the lack of effective metering is serious for all concerned .
I would have thought that any mandatory scheme should be run as a cooperative or not-for-profit comany.

Mike Moseley says:
25 March 2013

Heat metering on district heating may have been a problem on systems in the past but all new schemes requires individual users to pay for the heat that they use. New heat metres are very sophisticated and nearly always include remote billing, so your usage and bill are calculated without anyone calling to read the meter. CHPA (industry body) have a standard heat customer charter which covers the details. http://www.chpa.co.uk/standardised-heat-customer-charter—fontenergy–others_890.html

District Heating is the way forward says:
24 March 2013

At CHP reality check.
Not sure what schemes you’ve seen but all the Biomass DHS installs I’m aware of Eradicate Fuel Poverty!
I’ve seen schemes that take tenants heat and hot water bills to sub £200 per a year, fixed for the next 20 years.
It seems as if you’ve been exposed to some badly planned or installed schemes.

Why wouldn’t you sign up for that or would you rather pay £1,200 under Gas which rises between 9-15%
I’m sorry which but at those rates why would you even want to change your supplier?
I would sign up tomorrow if I could have one and it’s no surprise these schemes are the norm on the continent.

Metering is robust as it has to be with the RHI and the carbon savings for Biomass DH versus Gas and Electric heating are simply astonishing.

country gal says:
31 July 2013

i have same experence of meter clocking up when not in use
it clocks up between 3-4 units in 24 hrs .
my actual consumption is 4 units a day there is only so much hot water one person needs
that heat one medium size hot water tank so the faulty meter reading doubles my overal consumption
have inform ladlord although this was supposed to have been sorted out when it was first installed as a part was missing and it was running heywire
hes trying to bill me for that as well
so im waiting to get what the engineers say but im not paying
hope this helps that someon else has the same issues
its called passing
and it could be a faulty motorized valve somewhere else in the system that letting the water seep through under pressure

country gal says:
29 August 2013

it is the valves theve been replace and its now stopped

Mike Moseley says:
25 March 2013

How much choice have do we really have with the big 6? With a big district heating network as in use in Denmark there is the possibility to have an open arrangement between heat suppliers and consumers, similar to the electrical network. In the UK schemes are small and their physical nature will mean just one heat supplier. The industry has a customer charter http://www.chpa.co.uk/standardised-heat-customer-charter—fontenergy–others_890.html which can give consumers some protection. Clear pricing policies for where the costs are linked to a fuel index are useful safeguards. Getting Ofgem to regulate an industry that supplies less than 2% of UK homes and one that often has an input to by a social housing landlord would be a costly sledge hammer to crack a very small nut. The Pimlico district heating scheme has been running for many years without any consumer issues.

NO CHP THANKS says:
21 July 2013

2% of uk population is small and not worth care about? check out the population or energy market size, then see if the total amount of money involved worth a think.

Also, these 2% of people pay tax as well, I don’t see why spending their tax money to make the heat industry regulated a bad thing.

In addition, all the social housing on these affected site are charged in the same way. Hence, this unregulated industry is costing you money on government spending as well.

The thing is if you are in it, you have to pay the wrong price 100%. I am more than happy if I can pay 98% of my bill according to regulated energy market rule and let the 2% of my total bill be wrong. But that can’t be the case.

Shaun says:
5 April 2013

I pay the local authority £10.92 per week to heat my small one bedroomed flat in Sheffield. This is to increase to £11.47 as of the 1st of April (this month). I know I could heat my flat cheaper via halogen heaters and have requested a prepayment meter for my heating and hot water. I have been informed the local authority have a planned scheme to have meters fitted between 2013 and 2016. They are refusing to fit a prepay meter until my area is done on the planned scheme. I used to live in a three bedroomed property before my one bedroomed and it did not cost me £49.70 per month to heat. If anyone can provide me information on my rights to have a prepayment meter fitted I would gratefully appreciate it. thanks.

Concerned DH user says:
17 July 2013

It can be even worse, I have a DH system operated by a commercial operator and between Sept 2011 and May 2013 I have paid £1200 in heating and standing charges alone.
Average bill/ month £70.50.

Ana says:
17 May 2013

I am a leaseholder (part-buy, part-rent) in a building where heating and hot water are supplied like this. I am paying exorbitant prices and receiving very poor service. Where I would have paid £200 a year with my previous gas supplier, I now have to pay around £680.

I agree with CHP Reality Check. It is all very well for the government to push a green agenda on councils and housing associations, but they should regulate the market first, and make sure they are not sending affordable housing dwellers into fuel poverty.

Mark says:
29 May 2013

I am in a new build property with District Heating. I have conducted a number of tests since moving in and have found that there are issues with the metering system used. The system clocks the incoming temperature and the outgoing temperature and the difference is converted to units which the user pays for. Although you have some control over the settings for heating and hot water you don’t have overall control of the system. With the heating off and without using any hot water the system still clocks up an average of 2.4 units in 24hours which equates to £81.49 per year. Those figures are based on the current set up on my controller. When I first moved in the bathroom radiator was getting hot even with the heating off and the system was clocking closer to 9.6 units per day = £310.45 per year !!!!
I have documented my findings and have requested a full explanation from my supplier.
I will keep you posted.

country gal says:
31 July 2013

i have same experence of meter clocking up when not in use
it clocks up between 3-4 units in 24 hrs .
my actual consumption is 4 units a day there is only so much hot water one person needs
that heat one medium size hot water tank so the faulty meter reading doubles my overal consumption
have inform ladlord although this was supposed to have been sorted out when it was first installed as a part was missing and it was running heywire
hes trying to bill me for that as well
so im waiting to get what the engineers say but im not paying
hope this helps that someon else has the same issues
its called passing
and it could be a faulty motorized valve somewhere else in the system that letting the water seep through under pressure

country gal says:
29 August 2013

hi i had same problem 4 units a day after much toing and froing the landlord got heating installer to replace valves the ones on were old that had been put in for another type of system ie oil boiler
they didnt hold back the water so it clocked up now fixed new valves cost 200 pounds but should have been usedin the fisrt place

Mat Giles says:
4 June 2013

Hi. I have just recently moved into a 2 bed new build in Dalston, East London a year ago. I have now received my first E-On bill for our heating and it comes in at a whopping £579 / 3600kWh (and this is just for 10 months). Whilst I normally welcome any energy saving initiative, I am left ultimately baffled why:

1. I could receive a comparable rate of £210 if I received direct gas heating from a competitor such as N-Power. When reading company brochures, it states district heating should be as competitive as gas heating!

2. I am spending 100% more per month on heating for a west facing double glazed new build compared to my previous 1 bed east-facing single-glazed Victorian terrace. My usage was 70% higher (6.230kWh)

3. A critical factor of buying a new build was to save on rising energy costs. Not a chance.

3. A scheme which essentially uses second-hand waste energy is not actually far cheaper option than gas itself.

4. How it is legally possible to be locked into one supplier (for eternity) with no option to receive comparative quotes. Admittedly, this wouldn’t be as as big a problem if renting opposed to owning.

On a final note, I know the rate includes system maintenance, etc. But on the basis of a £400 saving per annum I would be able to replace a gas boiler every 6 years for free (a boiler’s life expectancy is 11 years).

If someone please shed any light on this it would be great- struggling to find much help / advice out there. Would love to know what my rights are on this matter.

Concerned DH user says:
17 July 2013

Hey there,

I live in a similar version of the Dalston development, built by the same builder and our DH issues are exactly the same.

Mat Giles says:
20 July 2013

I am already looking to pull together a list of local residents (residing in Wonder House) and their circumstances to put forward for a petition to an independent Obudsman / local MP. These are obviously not just isolated cases and I am already aware of other neighbours in ongoing feuds with E-On in regards to overcharging and irregular billing. I myself have been fobbed off with continual feeble excuses and unconvincing responses as well as a general lack of concern from Barratt Homes themselves.

If you wish to swap emails then maybe we can try and build up more of a network and put some serious pressure on the local council as well as E-On? Am also thinking about getting a twitter campaign started which everyone can add their penny’s worth into (on a more national level). I can’t believe there isn’t already more advice forums out there!

NO CHP THANKS says:
21 July 2013

please also submit all your concern to ref: EPIC/ENQ/E 149219 via ‘Enquiries@oft.gsi.gov.uk’ to OFT as well.

Mat Giles says:
22 July 2013

Just have. Thanks for this. Will also pass on details to neighbours so they can forward their comments also.

Andy Davies says:
22 July 2013

Me too. We need a collective response, otherwise Landlords will milk us dry.

Concerned DH user says:
23 July 2013

Hi Mat,

To be honest I’ve been trying to get into contact with Dalston previously to discuss the DH situation.
Happy for you to contact me via the Maple Quay Connect Residents Community SE16 group on Google+ if you like.
https://plus.google.com/communities/117735857591491559401?partnerid=gplp0

One has to question the effectiveness of heat transfer using a HIU within the dwelling.

Maybe it’s time for the Which? Magazine to measure the performance of customers HIU and ask the Heat Trust why they don’t cover the technical aspect of the delayed control valve that influences the heat consumption without the customers knowledge.

Andy Davies says:
14 June 2013

We have just today been to a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal regarding our Utility bills. We have been thwarted by a legal argument regarding whether these are service charges. We have a tenant in our flat who is very understanding thankfully. The issue is that the head leaseholder and developer charges 16p kwh for gas used to heat our two bedroom apartment. We had a bill covering just 69 days for £723.40 and now he is saying he undercharged us by £160. The meter are all inaccessible, i.e in the ceiling. The Landlord banned our tenants from reading their own meters, as well as the letting agents. What we have found is that we have no consumer rights what so ever in these circumstances without resorting to expensive legal costs. The whole thing is a nightmare.

Concerned DH user says:
17 July 2013

I live in a newly built development that was required to install a biomass/gas powered CHP DH system.
Its run by one of the big 5 energy companies (Esco) after being awarded the contract for running the system by the developer, a major British house builder. Even though I fully support the principles of DH I have very strong reservations as to how the UK schemes are implemented and operated.
My bills have never, in 2 years, been under £50 per month. Even these warm months they run at around £55 per month without even considering having the central heating on. There are 3 people living in my property so usage of the system would be for 3/4 showers and some hot water for cleaning etc.
I am astonished how much the system costs, £30 in service charge/month alone without any heat usage. A lot leaves to be desired especially considering DH is not covered by any legislation whatsoever at the moment which could protect (vulnerable) consumers against exploitation by the Esco. The DH scheme was sold to us on the promise of how green and cost effective it was but as of yet those promises have never been delivered.
The issues we experience here are shared by other developments where this form of heating was forced through.

Andy Davies says:
17 July 2013

There does not appear to be any consumer protection, however, I understand that the UK District Energy Association are looking into this. I hope they do it as a matter of priority as it is costing us a bomb. The whole situation needs looking at by the government. Once your into a scheme you cannot use Uswitch to change suppliers.

NO CHP THANKS says:
17 July 2013

Are you sure? I litereally got in touch with Chirs Tanner and they told me they won’t do anything about it.

How do you know they ar looking in to this?

Concerned DH user says:
17 July 2013

The CHPA said they’re not interested since the group affected is too small etc etc.
We’ve resorted to submitting a case to the OFT together with another development that is affected. The OFT will investigate once they are convinced this is a growing problem affecting more and more people as DH spreads in an unregulated environment.

Mike says:
30 July 2014

The CHPA wont do anything, they are a trade lobbying group. If anything they are on the side of the ESCO promoting this type of installation,

Mike Moseley says:
6 August 2014

CHPA is a trade body but it is not fair to say they won’t do anything. As a professional working in the district energy business and a member of CHPA, I am as concerned as anyone to ensure that district energy schemes work well for both suppliers and consumers. There is considerable evidence that District Heating run well can help to alleviate fuel poverty. We are in a learning phase as the UK has such a small number of district heating compared with European neighbours like Denmark. CHPA are working on a new frame work to ensure consumer protection in DH schemes write to them at info@chpa.co.uk with your experiences and help set future policy. If the industry don’t get it right the government will force the issue.

Michael says:
6 August 2014

Mike

Mike

E.On, EastLondon Energy, (2 of the 4) main escos in residential schemes have contracts of exclusivity agreements for 25 years and 40 years respectfully. Why, easy because they need the gaurenteed uptake for their revenue streams for investor returns. That is the biggest risk to ESCos if consumers have a choice. Thats a fact

Secondly. Dalston Square for example, could have a best in class efficient boiler (say £250) a year which includes 100 quid sinking fund to replace boiler in 15 years and 13 per month boiler maintenance fee (equiveleant to having district heating infastrucuture). and get charged at 0.04kWh consumption 0.065standing charge. E.On are charging 7p kWh and 85p standing charge. How is that economic. Lets base consumption on a 2-Bed flat. What is the target consumption to make this work? Sustainable Homes say 5,600kWh per annum. E.On say 4,000kWh, DERR say 8,600kWh, Government benchmark UK domestic gas consumption bills by 15,000kWh but i accept this is excssive for new build flats.

The fact is, Its an un-regulated monopoly. Price increases are governed by RPI which is circa 3% a year, and with no option to benefit from competition consumers are getting stiched. Over 25 years. my 5 month research on this suggests consumers pay double in aggregate for what would include consumption, maintenance, and boiler replacement.

This is down to planning, because someone in whitehall thinks district heating is carbon effecient (chartered engineers suggest it isnt) ESCo claim is cuts costs. It doesnt.

Someone please demonstrate to me where this works. Because my research suggests it just doesnt.

One has to question the effectiveness of heat transfer using a HIU within the dwelling.

Maybe it’s time for the Which? Magazine to measure the performance of customers HIU and ask the Heat Trust why they don’t cover the technical aspect of the delayed control valve that influences the heat consumption without the customers knowledge.

Erm actually a new build with two adults could use 1,400-1,600kwh per year pending weather.

Don’t be fooled into using the HIU meter reading as some HIUs leak heat like a bucket. Also some are fitted with a delayed control valve that influences heat consumption. It seems little secret yet to be identified and declared by heat providers.

I’ve measured the delay and it appears to be 2mins so during that time my central heating pump is activated and circulating any heat into a nonactive heat/cooling exchange plate. Not only increasing heat consumption but co2 carbon footprint! It’s really not a great solution.

Andy Davies says:
17 July 2013

The same Chris Tanner said they were meeting to discuss these issues and using the details of our place as a case example. I am taking our matter to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal as there are rules about the rates a reseller of utilities can charge a consumer.

Concerned DH user says:
17 July 2013

UKDEA told me by email they wouldn’t get involved in this matter.
Also the parliamentary working group on DH accepted payments from Escos and as such it’s chairman resigned.
Not looking good.

Andy Davies says:
17 July 2013

“The UK District Energy Association has now started a working group “Consumer Protection & District Energy Regulations” and your case will be brought to the table for discussion and so any future information you have may help. Thank you”.

This is what I was told. When was your communication with them?

Concerned DH user says:
17 July 2013

That was last Winter.

NO CHP THANKS says:
18 July 2013

I am sorry to be so direct but beside being “told” that they “will”, have you seen any action yet?

My communication with UKDEA is 2 month ago.

you can see what CHPA is doing as “customer protection” here

http://www.chpa.co.uk/independent-heat-customer-protection-proposals_1313.html

my comment is that it is not even touching the underlying issue. I am not a low income person that can’t pay my bill, all the things about how the bill should be done does not help me at all.

The biggest concern for every one here is what is included in the price we are paying for I think. Sure it contained more than just burning gas or wood pallet. Then how do you justify a unit price which almost double the gas price while saying “it is actually more efficient than running a boiler yourself, no mentioned the standing charge is even bigger mystery to understand.

Concerned DH user says:
19 July 2013

We have logged as joint case with the Office of Fair Trading to investigate the dealings around DH, how these supply arrangements are operated as well as how consumers are protected.
If anyone wants to add anything to this case, the reference is EPIC/ENQ/E 149219 and contact is via ‘Enquiries@oft.gsi.gov.uk’

Fed up with extortionate heating bills says:
18 July 2013

I have been living in a building in SE London with such a scheme for nearly two years now. Our heat bill is never below £45 per month, even in summer when it’s only used for showers for 2 people. In the summer months half of our monthly heating bill is made up of the service charge!

This was sold to us as an energy efficient, cost-saving way of heating our homes. We are tied into this contract for 25 years. We have a very active & helpful residents committee who are continuing to exhaust all options to try to resolve the matter but despite numerous conversations with the energy supplier & building firm we are no further forward.

Perhaps “Watchdog” would be willing to take on the challenge?

proposed supplier of DH says:
24 July 2013

This is disappointing to read. I have been looking into supporting a district heating system on a future development close by. It looks like we need to get the consumers more involved in the risks and rewards. Can get complicated though.

Steve says:
6 August 2013

I live in an apartment block in London which operates such a scheme. Whilst this is my main residence I only occupy the apartment four nights per week. My average bill is circa £36 per month. Only £5 of this is the actual usage, the remainder being standing charge and VAT.
I am keen to change supplier but am restricted due to the monopoly arrangement with the current supplier – none of which was pointed out by the developer.
Several residents are of the same opinion and legal advice is being sought – clearly this will be to no avail judging by the current legislative framework.

Andy Davies says:
8 August 2013

It all depends what it says in your lease and what is included in the utility charges. Standing charges are minute anyway. What VAT rate is your Landlord charging, ours is charging 20% when the rate is 5% on domestic fuel?

Patricia says:
12 August 2013

I live in one district heating schemes and I regret the choice to buy a house their everyday. I used to pay for heating and electricity £30 a month, now I am over £100 and this is because £45 go just for the services of E-On, plus the price of heating is much higher than using electrical heating. We in the building tried to argue and move to another company, but we are hopeless as the contract goes for 25yrs and they can do whatever they want and we just have to pay the price. I feel this schemes are a rip off and I wish the government would stop suggesting this non sense to continue as there is absolutely no regulation and more and more people are already struggling with the bills and now they have to pay more when they join. Eco Friendly is great if we all would be treated equally to those who do chose to use other fuels.

Collin says:
29 August 2013

I am a council tenant on an estate where a district heating system is being imposed, as part of regeneration. At present I have British Gas for my cooking, but they say that they are taking the gas out, and that we will all get electric cookers, as part of the works by E.ON. I’m a bit confused as to why leaseholders on the estate can get to keep their gas, if they want to, but tenants are forced onto electric. Only removing the current boiler is essential to fitting the district system, strictly speaking, but they want to take the gas cooker too. We have not been consulted, that I know of, and I would also like to keep my gas (I hate cooking on electric). Are the council able to take away my consumer choice in the energy market, like this? Anyone?

wolfie1 says:
23 September 2013

I’m not sure whether anyone will still be reading this but I would be interested in contacting people who have these sorts of systems in place and finding out about the problems that have experienced. We are tenants in a property with a communal biomass boiler and have experienced lots of issues in terms of the boiler constantly experiencing problems and the efficiency, plus the huge costs that we are facing from using this boiler.