Have you got a plan of action for the year ahead?
Entering a new year with the promise of a fresh start encourages many to set resolutions to achieve a goal or continue good practice – and heat networks are no exception! January is a good time to take stock of the year ahead and to put a plan in place to put your heat networks on a really great strategic footing.
Chirpy Heat has put together 12 things to avoid to make sure you’re operating within best practice, with links and ideas for support and how you can step up to the next level.
As ever, we’re here to help! Do drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org for an informal chat and to see how we can help you deliver great heat networks for you and your customers.
12 No-No’s for 2023
1. Don’t cut corners on the design and build phase. Getting heat networks right at the first stage gives the best shot of futureproofing and delivering good service levels for customers.
2. Don’t rely on poorly documented handovers. Use impartial specialists for acceptance testing to ensure installations have been carried out in line with the design specification
3. Don’t operate your heat network without a Heat Supply Agreement in place with customers. This protects all parties and sets expectations.
4. Don’t neglect heat network data, it is the best management tool available to heat network operators that allow for trend spotting and identifying high and low users who may require that extra support.
5. Don’t let high return temperatures be the downfall of your heat network’s system efficiency. Proactively monitor network temperatures to help identify potential bypasses and to ensure the scheme is operating within its design specification.
6. Don’t just accept metering and billing provider terms and conditions. Develop your own KPIs and SLAs that align with your organisational drivers and core values, and negotiate these terms with your appointed provider.
7. Don’t underestimate the importance of defining key internal roles and responsibilities. A robust strategic management plan is key to a successful heat network operation.
8. Don’t neglect your policies. Do you have a robust vulnerable customer, debt, and complaints policy in place? Are they reviewed regularly? Are key staff trained to work in-line with these policies?
9. Don’t assume that heat tariffs and customer payments are offsetting your heat network outgoings. If you are operating your heat network on a not-for-profit basis, financial reconciliations need to be conducted at least annually to ensure that schemes are financially resilient.
10. Don’t let schemes deteriorate. Actively look for funding opportunities and ways in which measures can be implemented across the scheme to improve system efficiency and reduce waste money and energy
11. Don’t bury your head in the sand with upcoming regulation – make sure you’re proactively managing your heat networks. Regulation is never simple – compliance should be.