The Managing Director of a leading district heating firm has been named the chair of the board for a body that will help to protect customers on district heat networks.

Casey Cole, of pay-as-you-go and energy efficiency firm Guru Systems, has been named chair of Heat Trust, which offers heat network consumers an independent process for settling disputes.

Heat Trust, which will be overseen by an independent and impartial steering committee, was formally established in March 2015 after two years of collaboration between, industry, government and consumer groups.

The voluntary industry initiative sets out a common standard of quality and protection for the supply of heat on onsite energy networks, giving confidence to customers living in homes supplied by the schemes and providing a benchmark for best practice.

By joining the scheme, heat suppliers demonstrate their commitment to adhere to the standards set by the trust.

District heat is a rapidly expanding industry, with around 400,000 homes and 1,700 businesses connected to 2,000 district heating schemes across the UK according to the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Casey Cole, CEO of Guru Systems, said:

It is a great honour to be asked to take up this position.

The launch of Heat Trust marks a pivotal moment for the industry as district heat continues grow across the UK.

Customers of heat networks should have a right to good standards of quality and consumer protection and Heat Trust is an important part of our continued improvement as a sector.

I am passionate about our industry being both fair and competitive, and I believe the trust can make a real difference to consumers living in homes on heat networks, as well as increasing the standards they can expect from their suppliers.

Bindi Patel of Heat Trust, said:

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 am delighted to have Casey chair the board. This is a pivotal time for the industry and I look forward to working with the Board and the Heat Trust Committee to ensure that Heat Trust delivers effective protections to as many customer as possible.