Great Places knew they had a problem with four of their heat networks – one general needs and three extra care. The metering and billing service they were receiving was very poor and leading to lots of customer complaints. After forming an internal working group, they approached Chirpy Heat to help them untangle the problems and make recommendations on how to improve the current situation. Chirpy Heat also undertook a full compliance review and regulation readiness assessment for Great Places for their full heat network portfolio.
Metering and Billing Review
Faced with a lack of resource, Home Group approached Chirpy Heat to become their heat network consultant partner. Our work with Home Group has so far included:
- Ensuring regulatory compliance by completing their heat network notification to BEIS.
- Undertaking a review of their heat network management and metering and billing approach to enable them to develop a strategic approach.
- Procuring a metering and billing provider through a competitive tender
- Advising on a flagship district heating scheme
- Implementing their strategic approach through the creation of action plans, specifications, scopes of works and job descriptions.
Hyde Housing wanted to develop a strategic approach to the management of their heat networks. Chirpy Heat undertook a detailed market assessment, giving Hyde a clear understanding of the key issues, costs and options with recommendations for a phased transition. Following this, Hyde also asked Chirpy Heat for a review and update of their heat network tariffs, which we provided alongside estimated running costs and benchmarking for each scheme.
Notting Hill Genesis
Additional Capacity Support
With over 8000 customers living on their own heat networks, Notting Hill Genesis is one of the larger heat network operators within the social housing sector. They approached us with three very specific projects that they needed additional capacity to deliver, and we were only too happy to help:
- Pre-market engagement ahead of their metering and billing contract procurement
- Income recovery strategies and procedures
- Improving customer communication
Appraisal & Training
Heat Network Review
Our partnership with One Housing began when they asked us to review heat network proposals for a newbuild s106 scheme. Following this, One Housing issued a competitive tender to take a strategic approach across their heat network portfolio, which we won in collaboration with FairHeat and Lux Nova Partners. The project encompasses general operating principles, data and soft-market testing, affordability, procurement, customer communication, technical and legal work packages
Regulation Readiness Review
One Manchester approached Chirpy Heat to undertake a ‘Regulation Readiness Review’ and develop a strategic approach to metering and billing, including implementing transferrable protocol meters and consolidation of multiple contractors to one metering and billing partner.
Policy and Tariff Review
We have been working with Optivo since 2019, starting by helping them to develop a strategic approach across their heat network portfolio. Since then, we have been supporting them to implement our recommendations, with work including a tariff review, a regulation readiness review, a repairs and maintenance review, and the development of a customer service policy.
Market research & procurement strategy
Origin Housing wanted to ensure that their new metering and billing provider would deliver the best service to them and their clients. Chirpy helped them with the production of an effective and challenging Invitation to Tender, market analysis and wider procurement support.
‘Everyone was very complementary about the work you did, so thank you very much’
Senior Project Manager
Strategic Network Metering Review
Peabody has commissioned Chirpy Heat to undertake a strategic heat network metering and management review to consolidate their large number of existing heat networks. This comes on the back of Chirpy Heat undertaking an in-depth heat tariff review on an externally managed scheme with high levels of customer dissatisfaction and local councillor and MP complaints. This included liaison with managing agents, metering and billing providers as well as internal stakeholders.
Southern Housing Group
Expert Heat Network Partner
Southern Housing Group have recently appointed Chirpy Heat as their expert heat network partner to provide the following support:
Strategic review of their existing metering and billing contracts and arrangements
Heat network compliance review
Training of internal teams of heat network management on topics including regulation, technical, tariffs and customer communication.
Review of existing schemes for technical and efficiency improvements
Cost Effectiveness Assessments
In 2021, Flagship commissioned Chirpy Heat to undertake cost-effectiveness assessments for all their unmetered heat networks in light of the update to the Heat Network Metering and Billing Regulations (HNMBR). The cost-effectiveness assessments highlighted schemes where it deemed them financially feasible for the installation of heat metering within individual dwellings.
Since then, Flagship have been busy preparing for the 1st September 2022 deadline, where all schemes that have been deemed cost-effective for the installation of individual heating equipment must be completed. Part of this preparation has been seeking the support of Chirpy Heat to help advise the pros and cons of different metering solutions such as heat meters vs HCAs, soft market testing of the metering market, and highlighting metering and billing agents that Flagship may want to explore for their services.
Metering & Billing Procurement
Acivico manage 30 heat networks on behalf of Birmingham City Council (BCC) that have numerous different heat payment meter specifications and contracts, all of which result in inconsistent pricing and service standards for end customers. Chirpy Heat developed a set of heat network management principles for BCC that were then used to develop both a heat payment meter and metering and billing services specification including service standards and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These developed specifications will be used to procure a consolidated heat network metering service across their portfolio.
Heat Supply Agreement Explainer
Chirpy Heat created a heat supply agreement for both tenants and leaseholders of Optivo. These were created with the support of legal expertise and were designed to ensure Optivo customers were given complete transparency of information for living on a heat network. Following the heat supply agreement, Chirpy Heat created a document to be used internally at Optivo. This document allows for simple use, explains the purpose and provides a bitesize breakdown of the heat supply agreement.
A heat tariff review on an existing scheme to ensure operational costs are being recovered.