Our heat network tariffs

Vattenfall are working with Bristol City Leap to provide a reliable, all-inclusive service for heat network customers at a fair price. Our approach ensures fair value for customers and shields them from short-term wholesale price fluctuations.

Each year, we will review our heat charges and publish our tariff.

Our heat tariff consists of two parts:

  • Heat Charge Rate: This is a charge per kilowatt hour (kWh) of heat consumed. Automated meter readings ensure accurate billing based on actual usage. The heat charge covers the cost of fuel (electricity, biomass, and gas) required to generate heat for the network.
  • Service Charge Rate: This is a fixed per-year cost calculated based on the connection capacity. It covers operations, maintenance, asset replacement, staffing, regulatory compliance, and utility costs within the primary network.

For the 23/24 financial year, the annual tariffs for new bulk supply connections to the Bristol city centre networks are:

  • Heat Charge Rate: [12.4] p/kWh
  • Service Charge Rate: £[90]/kW

Why is a heat network connection right for me and my building?

In traditional systems like gas boilers or low-carbon options such as air source heat pumps (ASHP), heat is generated on-site. With heat networks, heat is centrally generated and distributed through insulated pipes, like a city-wide central heating system.

By centralizing heat generation, we reduce the need for individual connections and can rely on renewable electricity sources. Energy centres use efficient heat pumps to collect heat energy from water or air, supplying hot water through the network. Once used, the water returns for re-use.

Central generation makes the system efficient, accommodating diverse building usage and reducing overall capacity requirements. This lowers costs compared to individual heating systems. Connecting to the network involves a heat exchanger or interface unit, simpler and more compact than alternatives like ASHP.

We handle installation and maintenance of the equipment, removing the need for boiler servicing or ASHP efficiency tests. You can rely on us to ensure a consistent supply of heat, providing peace of mind.

For large buildings, ASHP can require costly upgrades and ongoing capacity charges. Our transparent tariffs charge for connection and actual heat usage, simplifying cost calculations.
Homeowners and businesses no longer pay for gas when boilers are replaced. Instead, they pay only for electricity to their energy supplier and directly to us for heat.

By simplifying the process and reducing individual connections, we make district heating more efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly.

3MW Water Source Heat Pump in Castle Park.

Frequently Asked Questions

Vattenfall Heat UK is at the forefront of driving the transition to low-carbon heating. With our extensive investment and proven expertise, we are dedicated to designing and implementing large-scale, robust district heating networks that supply low-carbon heat, stimulate job growth, and contribute to the local economy.

In January 2023, Vattenfall Heat UK acquired Bristol Heat Networks Ltd and joined forces with Bristol City Leap to achieve carbon neutrality in energy infrastructure by 2030. Our role involves expanding the existing heat network, establishing new networks, and ultimately connecting them to form a unified Bristol Heat Network. This network will provide reliable, low-carbon heat to serve the local community.

Yes, we do. The process is outlined in our heat supply agreement with each customer. The tariff review includes indices such as a gas counterfactual, an electric counterfactual, and inflation for specific elements of the heat charges. Given the volatile state of global energy markets and high inflation during the launch of the Bristol City Leap partnership, price fluctuations are expected. Our approach is to procure commodities and manage assets in a way that ensures fair value for customers and protects them from sudden wholesale price shocks.

Yes, we do. The counterfactual provides a benchmark to compare the cost of heat from the network to the cost for the applicable alternative fuel source for the building, if it had not connected to the heat network. For the older connections, the alternative fuel would have been gas. With changes in planning requirements and carbon targets, the alternative for newer connections is an air source heat pump. Each customer’s heat supply agreement provides details of which counterfactual is used.

Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) provides help for businesses and other non-domestic customers. This scheme currently supports heat network customers but comes to an end on 31st March 2023. It will be replaced by the Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS), however full details of how this support will apply to heat networks are yet to be announced. A separate Energy Bill Support Scheme (EBSS) has been set up to help with rising bills. Domestic heat network customers are eligible for the Government energy discount of £400 – please note this is accessed via a customer’s electricity supplier, not Vattenfall.

For more information from government: Help with your energy bills: If you get your heating and hot water from a heat network – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Vattenfall operates resilient networks with multiple heat sources, thermal storage, and built-in redundancy, resulting in rare outages in the heat network. We continuously monitor our network using automated alarm systems to quickly detect and fix any faults.

This is further supported by contractual obligations outlined in our Heat Supply Agreements, which include service standards for response times to reported outages. Our role in Bristol City Leap also entails contractual obligations to Bristol City Council, ensuring the provision of reliable heat across the network.

Customers can rest assured that Vattenfall takes care of energy security for the heat network. We are responsible for maintaining, operating, and replacing all heat generation plants up to the customer supply point. Customers benefit from an all-inclusive service without unexpected costs for repairs.

Yes, in most cases this is absolutely possible. Building owners, tenants or their representatives can contact the Vattenfall Heat Bristol, Business Development team at bristolbusdev@vattenfall.com, to find out more.

We are eager to engage with all prospective new customers. The first step is to contact our Business Development team on bristolbusdev@vattenfall.com to arrange an introductory meeting. We will work with you to understand your needs, the status of the development (whether in construction or already built) and the feasibility of connecting to the network.