There’s a general misconception that local authorities will always choose a pay-as-you-go billing system for their residents living on heat networks.
In fact, many choose credit billing. Some customers prefer to pay for the heat they use at the end of month, and for local authorities, credit billing can help make financial reconciliation easier.
Today, credit billing is also being used as one method to help residents spread the changing costs of heat across the year – by billing a fixed amount every month.
Brent Council is one local authority using Guru Systems to credit bill its residents.
“Brent is piloting credit billing in a brand new 100% socially rented block of about 235 flats.
Credit billing was favoured because it spreads heating cost across the year helping families to budget. Receiving meter readings from an AMR service provider like Guru allows us to monitor payments against consumption and to prepare accurate heat statements every six months using in-house resources.”
Francesca Campagnoli, District Energy Manager – Brent Council
So far, 155 local authorities in England and Wales have received funding from Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU) – a team within the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) that provides grant funding and guidance to local authorities for heat network project development. Local authorities in Scotland also have access to similar schemes.
As more and more heat network projects get built, each local authority will want to make sure they have the flexibility to bill customers on new and existing heat networks via a method that works for both them and their residents.