/ 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
QueenslandRd says:
20 July 2014

We live in a new build owned by Barret Homes. They have a 25 year contract with e-ON to supply our flat with heat via DHS so we have no choice of another supplier. We noticed after a couple of months are bill were exteremly high. We now limit our heat to just hot water, enough for two showers, and the bill is still 50/month. Since we now use a minimual amount of heating I looked at moving to the lower tarriff but due they increase the KwH charge so much it makes no difference.
I have complain to e-on highlighting two ways they could make pricing fairer to their customers:

1. Review the amount they charge for insurance (which is part of the standing charge). Unlike other providers under a DHS scheme you have to pay insurance. E-on evaluate other providers insurance at around 400 pounds a year, when in fact you can get boiler insurance at 180 a year. If they want to offer a competitive price, as they claim, they have to review this cost.

2. As mentioned the difference between using a low and standard tarriff when you are using a small amount of heat makes no difference to the bill. I have asked them to reduce the 19p pre KwH on the low tarriff to a level that makes sense for a low user.

Charlotte says:
24 March 2017

We have the same problem with Eon. We live in a one bed flat, have the heating on 20/21 in the morning and evening and our bills for the last three months have been £93 a month. Eon refuse to help and we can’t switch supplier. i am reaching out to our local MP and I suggest you do the same.

Gideon Corby says:
16 October 2014

I live on a development which was completed 2 years ago. The CHP unit has yet to start supplying our heat and energy. We have been told it was made operational last weekend. One problem is that it leaks so much heat into the flats above that air-conditioning units have been installed while the contractors try to remedy the problem. Extra insulation was retro-fitted to the ceiling and a vent and fan have been fitted to extract and pump heat into the courtyard outside.

We have been relying on the back up generators for our heat so far and buy electricity from regular utility companies.

The heat is charged at a per unit rate comparable to regular energy companies so we have no benefit from the economies promised by CHP adoption. The unit rate is not directly comparable to buying gas off the grid (heat vs energy) but the bills we receive mean that the costs appear similar. A major problem is the standing charge is very large – typically two thirds of the cost of a bill so there is little incentive to cut down on the use of energy.

Sounds a real mess Gordon. Thanks for providing more insight into how to c**k-up by developers.

I used to do budgets for flat/housing developmemts on the maintenance side – insurance , cleaning , gardens , sinking fund. One of the problems on new developments was that the developers wanted us to offer a very low figure, and if they did not sell all the flats then they were not too keen on making up the difference. I wonder if there is something similar going on with your development.

Incidentally giving the standing charge as a percentage of usage is not as useful as figures …. you may be using very little power! At this time of night it helps my poor brain : )

How to do better:
http://www.zerocarbonpartnership.com/
http://www.buildingdesign-news.co.uk/sept-14/mitsubishi-recognised-with-two-awards.htm

G.Parry says:
6 December 2014

I moved into a housing association house in March 2008 (Scotland), the heating system is community biomass, supplied by said HA. When I first moved in the HA had promised to keep a low price for three years (which cost about £15-£20pw – winter), and the heating system seemed to work OK (underfloor downstairs, radiators upstairs and hot water). However, when the three years was up, the price just doubled, and at present I am averaging £5.80 per day (£40.80pw, £174per 30 days) for an incomplete system (keeps breaking down), and I only use the underfloor in the living room and hall (on constant because it’s takes so much credit to keep heating it up), water once a day and very rarely use my radiators, but according to the representatives of the HA this is about normal. I basically can’t afford to heat my house, and because it’s biomass/community heating I can’t change supplier. I’ve also never had a bill statement so I don’t even know how much I’m being charged per tariff. Is this legal, and is this a normal amount to be paying each day?

frozen orange juice says:
6 December 2014

look on the gov.uk website Policy
Increasing the use of low-carbon technologies
seems like social landlords are getting money per unit generated and used . unless its a new build but read and see
you could argue that they have to pay for installation but i think this is grant aided also .
so the more you use the more they get .not just what you pay them
its not about keeping you cosy its about saving the planet and keeping landlords rich and the tenant poor .and poorer in heat as well by the sounds of it .
back to cave man times

Trudy Stewart says:
22 January 2015

I live in a village on a Country Estate and in June last year, work was completed on a district heating scheme within all the houses in the village. The system has been very problematic but my biggest problem with it is the expense. We received minimal info from our landlord and in December, I received my first bill for £365. Since then (even though the property was empty for 12 days) I have supposedly gone on to use another £167 worth of heating.
One of the radiators had a leak from the day it was installed (fixed yesterday) and almost every day, there is 1 problem or another with the system from low pressure to overheating temperatures.
Yesterday I took a reading and it was a 4 digit number. This afternoon, the Evinox Viewsmart display screen went black and the red fault light started flashing. It was back on within 5 minutes but the heating consumption is now a 9 digit figure!
I would be interested to know if anyone else has experienced similar problems. I also cannot understand why, from talking to one of my neighbours, I am being charged 3 times as much as him although we both use the heating for a similar amount of time each day and have the same amount of radiators “on”.
There are a number of unhappy customers/residents within my village and it is by no means turning out to be the cheaper fuel alternative we were promised.

Jim Forrest says:
23 January 2015

Hi. I have been an Energy advisor for 7 years, my client’s are my number one priority, I have been involved in a couple of District heating projects in the last couple of years and I cannot believe Ofgem are not getting involved in regulating the pricing. The District heating system is a very good way of guaranteeing that suppliers will have someone tied in to their supply whether they like it or not. Getting back to the pricing the whole idea behind District heating is to help alleviate fuel poverty so they say, so how come the less energy you use the more expensive the kWh becomes. The standing charges are a rip off people are being charged whether they use their heating or not and if you are Energy efficient and use less energy you will pay more. It does not make sense lets get real on the pricing. Ebico a not for profit organisation no hidden costs no standing charges only pay for what you use.

DRD Woodward says:
16 December 2015

I’m looking for advice /resource links/forums to build a legally supported case against my HA/HP supplier.
In short ;
The HA/Council/Energy Supplier installed a CHP that turned out to be for to large for the current demand, even taking into account current and proposed HA building expansions.
Thus the system is running well below its cost effective levels. The Supplier (Vital ) have had difficulty in sustaining the systems maintenance budget let alone make any profit. Without consultation with the tenants the HA, who set the limits the supplier can charge … allowed for a standing charge to be imposed. This charge doubled my bill.
Since then I have refused to run their system, opting for alternative methods of heating. However, even though I have powered off the entire system from the fuse box … the standing charge appears to be accumulating such that when I did have occasion ( elderly visitor who needed that extra warmth ) to put it back on, I found that it was consuming the credit at a ridiculous rate .. presumably clawing back those missed standing charges.

My question is, what legislation is in place, if any, that sets the maximum % of repayment of any arrears that can be clawed off a normal top up payment.

Personally I would have preferred a higher unit cost. That would have allowed me the control over my costs. This standing charge in effect penalises those who are frugal and energy waste conscious and rewards those who burn up a lot. Wholly contrary to the ethos of the CHP system and the companies mission statement.

Anon says:
13 August 2016

Consumers need to report this to the Competition & Markets Authority and the Energy Ombudsman.It is an abuse of dominant market position. Ie a monopoly. The more consumers who complain, the more likely it is that the likes of E.On will be investigated.

John Richie says:
23 January 2015

I moved to a brand new flat built by Barratt Homes, at St. Andrews Village in Bromley-by-Bow. Thank god I am a tenant and not an owner. Little did I know about district heating when I moved, and I don’t think the owner knows either. Although there is underfloor heating, having the thermostats set on a temperature that keeps the flat just warmish (there are days that I wake up in the morning and it is not warm at all), gives me a heat bill of 80 quid a month!!! Having talked to eon they told me that my usage is 2.5 times what it should have been for a two-bedroom flat at St. Andrews Village but have no idea why is that, and on the other hand an engineer told me that it is normal usage, so go figure.

The other thing is that the charges are really high, almost 6p per unit (kWh), but the big rip-off here is the standing charges, which is almost 130p (YES you read right 1,30 quid per day!!!) per day!!! So on a summer month if I was not using at all heat or hot water, I would still pay 40 quid for standing charges!!!

I was already considering moving when my tenancy agreement finishes, and having read this article and also the fact that I am not yet protected as a consumer and that I cannot move to a different provider, I am even more skeptical getting out of here and saving money.

Hi John, we live in the same development as you, been here a few years. We have a one bed flat and rarely have the heating on but that’s because it’s well insulated. I’m shocked at your heat costs. We have water programmed for one hour a day which is enough for showers and washing up. The default tariff Eon put you on is the mid range one, I changed our tariff to low user (can’t remember the right term) but it made a difference. We’re paying around 15p/kwh and 23p/day standing charge. I recently looked at the bills which are never more than £18 a month in total. I wonder if your heating is on for long hours? Might be worth setting the times and see it it makes a difference for you. I still think the standing charges are a rip off!

battledor says:
1 June 2016

NL: EON claim here to set max price at 5.198 p/kWh :
https://www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudications/2016/4/E,-d-,ON-UK-plc/SHP_ADJ_301757.aspx#.V08Yp_krJaT
yet you say you are paying 15 p/kWh, is this right?

I see others are in a similar situation as I am, yes the standing charges are a rip-off, and so is the unit charge!!!

What will it take for ofgem to get involved and finally do something about this?

I expect Ofgem’s [and the government’s] general philosophy is that competition will sort out prices and that it is the regulator’s job to provide a level playing field so that proper comparisons can be made. Unfortunately this cannot work where households are tied to a supplier and physically connected to a district heating scheme. Some years ago I was visiting friends in Cologne and I remember being impressed by their district heating system. Their apartment was one of several hundred apartments in a number of blocks, plus some detached and other properties, on an estate in the outskirts owned by an insurance company that also managed the development. They seemed to have a comfortable level of warmth even in the freezing conditions of February and ample hot water. The running costs seemed to be moderate, which one would expect given the economies of scale and the industrial-standard infrastructure. Even the common parts of the apartment building had a background level of heat which helped people keep their own flats comfortable.

District heating in the UK seems to be dearer than it ought to be, probably because we don’t do it on a big enough scale, but also because it is seen as a profit centre rather than as a service to residents. I presume that the monthly heating charges in a district scheme contain an amount for maintaining and servicing the system and provision for major repairs and renewals, so a straight consumption-based energy price comparison is not necessarily appropriate. Householders with their own boilers are probably paying out around £80-£100 a year for maintenance and are usually not making any provision for future major renewals. Factoring in these elements could still show district heating in the UK to be relatively expensive, however.

Yes, it is expensive and someone should do something about it sooner rather than later. Most people are still not aware of the fact that district heating is not regulated, and that they cannot change provider. District heating is being advertised as being cheaper than having gas, but actually it is far more expensive.

I will pay almost 500 pounds in a year just for service charge, whereas if I had a gas boiler I would have paid 80-100 a year for maintenance like you said, or probably nothing as I am a tenant and not an owner. So imagine that where I live there are around 10 buildings and maybe 1000 properties, so half a million pounds a year for servicing and maintaining a district heating installation sounds to be a complete rip-off! 1400 pounds a day! more or less!!! Even the high usage plan, which is supposed to have a low price per unit, the unit is still much more expensive than that of gas.

The problem will continue to grow, as there are new developments being built all around, especially in London, and people need to be aware what they are getting themselves into. Maybe if awareness increases and more people complain, Ofgem will finally get involved…

I have a feeling that district heating schemes are outwith Ofgem’s terms of reference as they seem to be concerned only with network energy companies supplying fuel. District heating schemes buy fuel [and that is under Ofgem’s regulation] but they sell heat which is outside Ofgem’s remit – at the moment: if there were enough political pressure Parliament could change the law and bring district heating schemes within the regulator’s scope. A district heating scheme must be able to buy fuel at much lower prices than ordinary households pay but the output price of the heat produced will depend on the thermal efficiency of their heating plant, the quality of their distribution system, servicing and maintenance costs, repayment of capital and depreciation, provision for major repairs and renewals, overheads including structures, personnel, taxes, administration and billing, and – not forgetting – profit.

By the way, if you were a tenant with a gas boiler, you would pay for maintenance – it’s in the rent [plus possibly the landlord’s cost in carrying out the annual gas appliance inspection and test, so another £50].

I am confident that district heating will be regulated eventually, I am just not confident at all that it will happen anytime soon.

On the other hand I am thinking that if I am not protected as a consumer by Ofgem (or the energy ombudsman in particular), am I protected as a consumer my any other body? As a consumer I am buying a product (heat), which is being advertised as being not just at the same price as gas, but even cheaper, and definitely this is not the case.

You might have an interesting discussion with your local Trading Standards service on this point but I would not expect miracles. It would be easier to quit your flat and move to one with its own heating system. Hopefully you would save the cost of the move through lower energy bills.

Rachael says:
24 January 2015

If you are a tenant and have a gas boiler the law states that the landlord is responsible for the maintenance of the boiler and must produce a current gas safety certificate, this cost should not be borne by the tenant. I have worked in the lettings industry for 17 years and these charges are never passed to the tenant as it would go against current regulations. Therefore it is fundamentally wrong that HA tenants are effectively being forced to pay for the maintenance of their heating and hot water under these district heating schemes.

Nick Lords says:
25 January 2015

I am also in the same situation, moved into a new apartment, and got a heat bill that is more expensive than if I was using gas.

So the outrageous standing charges should ideally be broken down to 2 charges, one normal like gas bills have, and one service charge that the owner would have to pay?

Glynn Van-de-Velde says:
18 February 2015

Last year I bought a new leasehold property with a communal heating system. I thought I understood what the typical heating costs would be after getting the EPC certificate. This has proved to be outrageously incorrect. The EPC suggested typical annual cost would be around £350 for heating and around £80 for hot water per year. After 70 days average of 5 hrs per day heating, the cost was £600.
The system metres consumption not on heat used but by volume through a ring supplied to the flat. Using the thermostatic radiator valves has no effect on consumption. The local building inspector tells me that this system was approved as OK!
It is unbelievable that this was approved, unbelievable that OFGEM doesn’t get involved and that these landlord/management companies are allowed to conduct themselves with impunity.
We feel completely let down by what amounts to complicit misleading of ourselves as purchasers of this leasehold.
Our only option is to use still expensive but relatively cheap electrical heating of the space with portable heaters.
What a joke!

Ben says:
2 April 2015

District heat systems are a monopoly as only 1 provider set the rates. This effectively mean higher rates charges to consumers.

As I am currently experiencing, this system is not only inefficient (heat lost through pipes as well as slower to heat up water compared to a conventional gas boiler installed inside the home), it is considerable more expensive i.e. the standing charge effectively doubles the amount you have to pay (this is with E-On).

I am disappointed with the developer, Barratts, and E-On when I only realised this until after I moved into my new flat and my first bill arrived: it was a big, big shock. As mentioned district heating is a monopoly: I cannot vote with my feet and dealing with them was a extremely frustrating process for all tenants when negotiating with Barratts and E-On: effectively we had to compromise: it was not to everyone’s satisfaction but there was no other alternative but to agree.

My ultimate disappointment goes to the government on how such a system can be approved. I can only hope that the government reconsiders the affordability of such a system

Hello everyone, we’ve published a new debate covering our investigation into district heating: https://conversation.which.co.uk/energy-home/district-heating-problems-gas-electricity/

kerry says:
21 May 2015

I live in a village that has 20 houses connected to a district heating scheme using biomass, we have no choice of supplier as it is provided through the HA that i rent from. When i first moved in, in November 2012 it was a set price of £26.44 per week which was billed through rent account, there was no fair usage policy if you used 1kwh or 100000kwh per week you were £26.44 pw. Then in april 2013 it changed to individually billing each property by what kwh they used, however to work out what they were going to charge they took what the meter reading was on day i moved in up april 2013 and based the charge on that usage and then charged it at 9.85p per kwh.

The most recent billing statement that we received from HA was issued on 7th jan this year and was for period of september 2013 until december 2014 stating that some tenants had underpaid some were near £500, however the charge that they were charging was now 11.62p kwh at which the tenants were never were never informed of this price increase going back to sept 2013 and especially since member of staff from HA stated that kwh price was 9.85p at a meeting in feb 2014.

We have complained to HA about this for over year especially when we found out that the biomass system is flawed it has had all sorts of problems from start from pressure, leaks etc but recently I found out that for the last billed period of sept 2013 – dec 2014 the 20 houses used a total of 250966 kwh but the charge for the system for hat period was for 457200 kwh which ment that the system is leaking 45% of the usage so a total of 206234 kwh was charged to the 20 houses. Some tenants which most are familys or oaps are paying anything from £30-£60 per week and this is charged through rent account so if people cant afford to pay full amount every week for the full year they are going in to rent arrears.

So as a tenant in a district heated property i say yes ofcom do need to step up and help tenants as we cant afford this and we are strugging to find help i have been on to cab, councillor, trading standard, consumer helpline and no one seems to be able to help us because we pay the HA

Fair Pricing for Heat says:
26 June 2015

Did you know that residents at East Village (the Olympic Village) can complain to the Ombudsman whilst the rest of us cannot??

For more info have a look at https://www.facebook.com/groups/districtheat/

Together we can make a difference

We managed to get BBC to film our estate for their Rip off Series and its available online.

Same issues as the rest of us here. Second story in on the show.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06cpcj0/rip-off-britain-series-7-episode-2

Please help me gather evidence for our MP and the CAB at

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NSMXW2M

this survey will take less than a minute to complete – please pass this on so we can get more responses

Not only should this be seen as a monopoly issue there is also an issue for landlords as we are in one of these schemes and a tenant left without having paid for their utility usage whilst living at the apartment and now Swith 2 Ener-G are now pursuing the landlord for the outstanding debt as this has been written into the contract. This however cannot be a fair contract as the landlord has no control over how much energy the tenant uses, yet can still be liable for any debts. No other energy company can get away with this so should these companies be allowed, they are taking advantage of the system. I would avoid buying a property which has one of these schemes, and I wonder how much is in it for the management companies / developers to encourage them to agree to such schemes?

I have had the worst experience with District Energy.
I am a housing association tenant and was told AFTER signing the tenancy agreement in 2012, when I asked about the gas and electric. The housing officer said that we could not change gas supplier BUT it would cost less than other suppliers and was eco friendly. What a total lie!

It is the most expensive, debt ridden and unaffordable supplier I have ever been with. We have had nothing but problems with the cost and service. Yet despite all the problems and complaints, our landlord couldn’t care less because they are the ones that decide on the charges.

From day one, our heaters wouldn’t heat fully unless thermostat was turned high and individual heaters turned up to max. The heaters would only get hot at the top with the bottom being cold. Forcing me to put the temperature higher. Struggled so much financially and to keep the flat warm, had to cut back massively on usage. A senior housing officer who had visit regularly for meter readings due to the meters being defective, informed me the boiler was losing a lot of heat which wasn’t normal. I had one engineer visit after the first year for the yearly check and he informed me there was a problem with the immersion and he would report it back. Nothing was ever done. The pipes connecting to the boiler are very, very hot when running the heating. The hot water is also very hot to the point you say ouch.

But Ofgem do not deal with the supplier Ener-G Switch2 and our landlord Housing for Women wouldn’t authorise S2 to send out an engineer, stating I would have to pay for it if not faults found. I made a complaint to Switch2. Eventually an engineer was authorised, more than two years later. He said there was nothing wrong with the meter but he said the heaters thermostat had been fitted incorrectly and that was the landlords responsibility. I contacted landlord and explained what I was told. However, I was then told that no reports were made to the wrong fittings. I was then told by switch2 there was some kind of misunderstanding and that the engineer didn’t tell me that. I know what he said and I know I heard him right!

Despite requesting details of charges and costs, our landlord refused to budge and give the details of what I was being charged for, which as a paying tenant, I should have a right to know. Instead, in may 2015, I was sent a new utility agreement and details of new G6 meters being upgraded for the following month. I emailed the housing officer and told her I would not be signing the contract as I did not agree with their high costs and half working heaters.

The consumption cost was 12 pence per KwH. Then changed to 9.7 KwH in February 2015. As we have no rights under our HA, I had to have the new meter fitted in June 2015.

I was shocked to see how quick the credit would run, even when no hot water or heating was being used. We was given no instructions or manuals on how to operate the new meter. The topping up was worse than before where we could only top up at our local Londis shop. If topped up by 5.30pm, my money would be added the next morning. If after 5.30pm, then it would take two days. No details, no explanations, nothing was given to us. many neighbours were and are unhappy. Furthermore, I couldn’t understand why a daily charge was being deducted as it was showing 55.4 pence being deducted. Landlord still refusing to budge, Switch2 finally managed to contact me to explain that the landlord is in charge of deciding what we are charged and the standing charge was deducted by the landlord. he said, they were just the middleman who take our money on behalf of the landlord, who then pass our money to landlord.

The G6 meter by Ener-G Switch2 is suppose to be better and easier. What a joke. The meters are suppose to show consumption, cost, tariff, usage and a lot more. Mine doesn’t. And its been reported again and again but being ignored.

After reporting my issues via Twitter, landlord wrote stating that their charges were based on another building they own, next to our street. That doesn’t even make sense. how can you base and decide charges on other people’s usage, who have a different building and used it longer?

We have lost a lot of money, gone through severe hardship, having to stop my son’s swimming lessons, days out as I can no longer manage to keep both home warm with hot water and have my son do his hobbies. The heaters go off at 8:30am and come on at 4pm Monday to Friday. Its set on a timer. I’m ashamed to say that I have a shower once very 7-10 days and my teen son 2 times a week. The only heaters I have on are the living room and bedrooms. I turn mine off often to help save credit. Every now and then I put the kitchen on.

District energy for us has been nothing but a nightmare, rip off and the government are doing nothing about it. Its shambolic and criminal.

Home Owner says:
27 November 2016

Hi, are you part of the KNH District Heating?

Thanks

Legged Over says:
3 May 2016

We live on a big new development in western Bath and have a community biomass scheme for which we have a 25 year contract. Our findings are that bills are twice what we expected which we know is pushing some socially-housed tenants into fuel poverty.

The big issue, however, is that we have found that the Management Company (currently run by the developer – but residents will assume control when the estate is completed) has the biomass building down as a liability on its balance sheet.

Should the energy company want to walk away after 25 years they have to leave a 7 year reserve fund but then the entire liability (i.e. the biomass building and infrastructure) is owned by the residents. There is no mention of what the total financial liability is on Form TP1 (lodged with our deeds at The Land Registry) but it could be millions – and we would be left with no heating. We only wanted to buy a new build house!

I liken our experience with our CHP as akin to a 90 year old person walking into a bank and coming out with a complex financial structured product. It is completely inappropriate and unacceptable for members of the public to end up with something like this when buying a house.

It seems that the local council pushed the biomass solution onto the developer so that it could meet its own carbon target with no care, no due diligence and no duty of care to the members of the public that they have forced this “green” energy solution on.

My advice to is avoid new build estates with anything that remotely resembles “community CHPs” or management company liabilities.

Legged Over- are the company running the biomass at a loss for tax purposes ? The Carbon Trust Energy Efficiency Finance give flexible loans to businesses as does the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund Scheme . If that isnt enough Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA,s ) enable a business to claim 100 % first year capital allowance on their spending on qualifying plant and machinery . Something not kosher here.

Emma says:
18 May 2016

Barratt should know better! Why on earth would they tie-in landlords and tenants for 25 years to such extortionate rates? My letting agent, Gordon & Co. failed to inform me before I moved into the premises that I would be tied into EOn’s very high rates (the standing charge benefitting purely the landlord, so why should the tenant be liable to pick up the cost?). I would probably not have moved in, had I known! More to the point, why is this not regulated?!! OfGem or an independent ombudsman need to regulate the monopolistic powers of EOn. Surely the CMA would be interested?