Ofgem appointment as Heat Networks Regulator for Great Britain

The Government is appointing Ofgem as the Heat Networks regulator for Great Britain to ensure consumers receive a fair price and reliable supply of heat as we make the transition to net zero.

The appointment was announced as part of the Government’s plan to further expand Great Britain’s network of low carbon heating.

See Ofgem’s response to the appointment, and further detail on the appointment in the Government’s press release.

Additionally, the Heat Networks (Scotland) Act 2021 gives powers to appoint a licensing authority for the regulation of heat networks in Scotland. Scottish Government is working with UK Government to appoint Ofgem to this role, given the appointment of Ofgem is a reserved matter. You can read more on the development and implementation of the regulatory system in the Scottish Government's Delivery Plan.

Consultations and workshops

We have published a joint consultation with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, seeking views on the consumer protection requirements that heat network operators and suppliers will need to comply with, as part of the regulatory framework. We are also seeking views on Ofgem’s approach to regulating the sector, including through guidance, market monitoring, compliance, and enforcement activity, as well as its approach to recovering the costs of regulating heat networks.

Please see further details of our planned consultation workshops and sign-up links on the consultation page.

As we develop our policy and approach to implementation, we will continue to publish a number of consultations and host stakeholder workshops. Our latest publications can be found in the publications and updates section towards the bottom of this page.

Heat Networks regulation

At the point heat networks regulation comes into force, all heat networks will be required to notify Ofgem to be authorised and compliant.

Government seeks to provide Heat Network customers comparable protections to gas and electricity consumers. In preparation for regulation it encourages all heat suppliers and heat network operators to follow existing good practice such as that set out by the Heat Trust.

You can find further information on Heat Networks regulation in the Energy Security Bill factsheet: Heat networks regulation and zoning.

What is a heat network?

Heat networks supply heat and hot water from a central source to consumers, via a network of pipes. ​There are two types of heat networks:

  • Communal heat network: A communal heat network is a heat network supplying heat and hot water to a number of premises and customers within a single building. This is the most common form of heat network in the UK.  ​
  • District heat network: A district heat network is a heat network that supplies heat to more than one building. District heat networks can cover a large area and supply many buildings.​

Heat networks have the potential to decarbonise the supply of heat in built up areas and are a key part of Government’s net zero policy.

Do you have views or need help?

If you would like to speak to Ofgem about regulating the heat network market then please reach out to us at HeatNetworksRegulation@ofgem.gov.uk. We are interested in hearing views from all stakeholders.

Publications and updates