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Energy: Prices

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 128144, tabled on 23 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support people who are not covered by the energy price cap because they live in buildings with communal heating systems.

Answered on

28 February 2022

District or communal heating systems typically buy their energy through commercial contracts which are not covered by the Default Tariff Act. The Government is aware that this can lead to large increases in the bills of some consumers on communal networks and that some consumers are seeing increases larger than would be allowed under the domestic price cap.

The measures announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer on 3 February are intended to cover heat network consumers and we are engaging closely with industry and consumer groups to understand the specific impacts in the heat network sector and continue to assess whether further options are needed to help households through this challenging period.

We need to ensure all heat network consumers receive a fair price for their heating. That is why we are committed to legislating within this parliament to regulate the heat networks sector and in December 2021 we announced that Ofgem will take on the role of regulator. We will therefore give Ofgem new powers to regulate prices in this sector as a matter of priority. This will enable equivalent protection for domestic heat network customers as well as ensuring heat network operators are securing good purchasing deals for their consumers. This will mean that consumers are charged a fair rate for heating whilst encouraging investment in heat networks.

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