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Cost of Living support for district or communal heat network users

Find out what cost of living support is available if you are a resident who uses communal or district heat networks to heat your home.

Support between 1 October 2022 and 31 March 2023

Energy customers on communal heat networks receive energy bill support through the Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS), which is the scheme designed for businesses. The company that runs the heat network will claim from the government and pass the savings on to users. Customers are not able to apply directly.

It is required by law that any discounts suppliers receive through the Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) must be passed on to heat network customers. Suppliers must also provide information on how discounts are passed through to customers.

If you are a heat network customer, you should have:

  • been notified that your energy provider has benefited from the EBRS
  • been notified that the energy provider will pass through the benefit from the EBRS
  • received the scheme benefit from the provider within the timeframe required by the Regulations
  • complied with the requirements to receive the EBRS benefit

If you believe heat network providers are not passing on the discount, or have not been notified as above, the first thing to do is contact your heat network supplier and ask them to apply the discount. You can also raise a complaint through the energy ombudsman website, but it’s important to contact the supplier first.

Support from 31 March 2023 onwards

As part of the announcement in January 2023 on the Energy Bill Discount Scheme, the government is developing options to make sure that domestic consumers on non-domestic meters (including those who rely on heat networks) continue to benefit from energy bill support in line with other domestic users.

Further details are yet to be announced.

About heat networks and the cost of living in Southwark

  • Southwark has one of the highest number of homes heated by heat networks anywhere in the country, with around 17,000 homes connected to over 100 boiler houses.
  • The majority of residents in the UK on heat networks live in social housing, and the majority of those in social housing are over the age of 55.
  • According to 2021 census data, 10.6% of households in Southwark are part of a district or communal heat network, the second highest number of households in the country, behind the City of London.

Page last updated: 16 February 2023

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