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Insite’s Insight: What does the Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS) mean for heat network residents?

11th April 2023

Written by: Eelinn Vanquaethem, Marketing & Content Manager

If you live on a heat network, chances are your heat provider procures gas at a wholesale price for your development. By bulk-buying energy for all connected properties, your heat provider is usually able to get a better price than the average household organising its own supply.

Yet, due to the recent unprecedented energy crisis, wholesale gas prices, and, as a result, your heating & hot water tariffs, have increased. To help, the Government has announced several support schemes that provide a much-needed discount on energy prices.

The latest one, the Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS), requires heat providers to pass on any discounts to their residents. But what does this mean for you as a heat network customer?


The roles and responsibilities of both your metering & billing and heat provider

What is the Energy Bill Discount Scheme?

Next steps for heat network residents

Additional resources

The roles and responsibilities of both your metering & billing and heat provider

Your heat provider pays the cost of delivering energy to all connected properties in a heat network. They work together with a metering & billing provider, such as Insite Energy to calculate your tariffs and recover the costs of supplying energy to individual homes, including yours. 

What does your heat provider do?

  • Procure energy from an energy supplier, such as British Gas;
  • Notify your metering & billing provider of any price changes;
  • Work with your metering & billing provider to set your tariff;
  • Ensure appropriate Government relief is implemented in heat tariffs.

What does your metering & billing provider do?

  • Carry out changes when instructed to do so by the heat provider;
  • Calculate an accurate tariff to be approved by the heat provider;
  • Communicate changes in tariffs with the heat provider’s residents.

Your heat provider is not allowed to make a profit of your tariff.

Insite Energy are unable to change your tariff unless instructed to do so by your heat provider. 

What is the Energy Bill Discount Scheme?

The Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS) will be replacing the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS); both of which have been put in place by the Government to provide support for organisations during the energy crisis. The EBDS will be in place from 1st April 2023 until 31st March 2024. During this time, all businesses will benefit from a discount on their wholesale gas & electricity bills.

In most cases, heat providers procure gas for their heat networks from a gas supplier. The wholesale gas price is capped at 7.83p/kWh. Any savings that your heat provider makes through the EBDS will be passed onto you through your heat tariff. 

Your unit charge will not directly reflect the discount, as this also takes energy losses throughout the network into consideration. 

Figure 1: Heat network losses occur throughout the network and are accounted for in your unit charge.

If your heat provider is able to procure a contract where the wholesale cost of gas is below 7.83p/kWh, they have negotiated a great rate and will not receive the discount, as stipulated in the EBDS.

To further help heat network residents, Insite Energy and other organisations have lobbied  through workshops, organised by the UK’s District Energy Association (UKDEA). Further support for heat networks is currently being confirmed, and it is anticipated that heat providers will be able to apply for an additional discount at the start of April 2023.

Next steps for heat network residents

There is nothing you, as a resident on a heat network, need to do.

If we are your metering & billing provider, please rest assured that we are working with your heat provider to regularly review your heating & hot water tariff. Upon reviewing your tariff, we also work with them to ensure additional relief can be obtained where possible.

Our customer services team will not know if your heat provider can implement the EBDS, but you will be notified in writing if there are any changes to your heat tariff. This email or letter will stipulate whether your heat network qualifies for the EBDS, and if any cost savings have been implemented in your heat tariff. In the case of a tariff increase, we aim to communicate it to you in writing either via email or post at least 31 days prior to it being applied. If you do not receive any communications from us, please raise this with your heat provider.

If you are on energy billing, your tariff will be on your most recent bill. If you are a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) customer, your tariff will be displayed on your in-home display (IHD).

What to do if you believe your heat supplier has failed to pass on the EBDS discount

If you are unhappy with the amount of scheme benefit passed onto you, and you have reason to believe that the pass-through requirements have not been met, you are entitled to raise a complaint with the Energy Ombudsman. You can find more details on raising a complaint on the Energy Ombudsman’s website.

Additional resources

Government support:

About your heat network:

  • Find out who your provider is by searching for your development on the ‘My development’ page
  • If you recently had a change in tariff, you may be able to download a breakdown of your tariff by searching for your development on the ‘My development’ page

Other information:

Insite Energy, Studio 4 Stuart House, St John’s Street, Peterborough, PE1 5DD

Insite Energy is registered by the FCA for anti-money laundering.