Heat Networks

Heat networks regulation

We have been named by UK government as the future regulator of heat networks across England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain). This was introduced by the Energy Act 2023. 

This role will include responsibility for heat network licenses in Scotland. This was part of the Heat Networks (Scotland) Act 2021

Read about how the regulation of heat networks will be carried out as part of the UK government’s plan to further expand Great Britain’s network of low carbon heating on GOV.UK.

You can also read about the development and how the regulatory system will be put in place in the Scottish Government's Delivery Plan.

When heat networks regulation comes into force all heat networks will need to be authorised to be able to supply heat to their network.

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 as 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, through a network of pipes. ​There are two types of heat networks:

  • Communal heat network: this supplies 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: 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.

Get involved

You can get involved and tell us your views on how heat networks could be regulated. There are a number of ways you can have a say:


Our first consultation was a joint consultation with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and has now closed. We will publish a joint response in 2024. Further consultations will follow. 

User research

We are currently working on a digital service for the authorisation, monitoring and compliance of heat network suppliers and operators. We would like your views and help to test this new service. Your feedback will help us to make changes and improve it before it is made available to all heat network operators. If you would like to take part in our user research, please email

External Stakeholder Advisory Group

We launched an external stakeholder advisory group in December 2023 to inform development of policy and operational processes for the new regulatory framework. This group is made up of sector representatives and will meet every 6 weeks.


  • Jay Ross, The Energy Ombudsman 
  • Stephen Knight, Heat Trust 
  • Alistair Hill, Consumer Scotland 
  • Andrew Richmond, LGA 
  • Tim Peppin, WLGA 
  • Lewis Douglas, Glasgow City Council 
  • Dion Tickner, National Energy Action 
  • John Saunders, 1Energy Group 
  • Tyrone Hillary, Lambert smith Hampton Ltd 
  • Bindi Patel, Vattenfall Heat UK 
  • Akos Revesz, Carbon Trust 
  • Lucy McMahon, E.ON 
  • Ian Allan, Switch2 Energy Ltd 
  • Caroline Bragg, The Association for Decentralised Energy 
  • Natalie Turner, National Housing Federation 
  • Michael Jacobs, Michael Laurie Magar Limited & Executive Board member of TPI 
  • Anne Pardoe, Citizen's Advice 
  • Simon Woodward, UKDEA 
  • Richard Warren, Kensa

Read how the advisory group will be run in the External Stakeholder Advisory Group Terms of Reference.

Keep in touch

If you would like to be added to our mailing list for all future heat networks programme updates and opportunities to engage with us on heat networks you can contact us by emailing

Publications and updates