A district heating project designed, built and operated by SSE Enterprise Utilities has registered with Heat Trust – a new customer protection scheme.
The Wyndford Estate in Glasgow’s Maryhill area has been registered with Heat Trust, a new scheme which will provide free independent complaint resolution and minimum customer service standards for district heat network customers in Great Britain.
The Glasgow project provides low-cost heating and hot water to more than 1,500 tenants and around 300 owners. It was installed in 2011 and supplies heat and hot water from a gas-fired combined heat and power generator located on the estate, pumping hot water to each household via a network of highly insulated underground pipes. The new system removed the need for each property to have its own electric heating system and helped reduce carbon emissions.
Heat Trust sets standards in key areas including performance, reliability and customer service. The Energy Ombudsman will provide the independent complaints handling service to ensure fair treatment of customers.
Jody Pittaway, Heat Networks Manager for SSE Enterprise Utilities, said: “The launch of Heat Trust is a significant step towards customer protection for district heating customers and as a big supporter of the scheme, we are delighted that the Wyndford Estate in Glasgow has been registered. Going forward we will be working with Heat Trust to gain accreditation for our other schemes to enable all of our customers to benefit from the protection offered by the scheme. We are confident Heat Trust will become the standard for district heating customer protection.”
Bindi Patel, Head of Heat Trust, said: “I am delighted to welcome SSE as one of the first members of Heat Trust. The launch of Heat Trust is a key milestone for the district heating sector, demonstrating its commitment to giving customers peace of mind in their heating and hot water supply. I look forward to working with industry, government and consumer bodies to ensure Heat Trust provides effective protection to as many customers as possible.”
Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, said: “The Scottish Government believes that development of a sustainable renewable heat industry will be a key factor in helping Scotland meet its climate change targets and provides huge business opportunities. The launch of the independent Heat Trust is a positive step forward for the protection of householders and micro businesses connected to heat networks.
“Earlier this year, the Scottish Government published its Heat Policy Statement which sets out our framework for a resilient heat system. We are committed to a largely decarbonised heat system by 2050 which will require action by householders, business, industry, the public sector and communities across Scotland.”
Simon Morris, Deputy Chief Executive of Ombudsman Services, said: “We are delighted that Heat Trust has recognised the value and quality of independent redress and are proud to be providing the dispute resolution service for them. As of today, energy customers that use a heat network registered to the scheme have the extra reassurance that they will be protected if things don’t go to plan with their energy supply.
“As the value of customer service becomes increasingly important for both consumers and businesses, providing dispute resolution which is independent, free to the consumer, and at low cost to the industry, is an example of best practice.”