Heat networks are systems where heat is distributed through a series of pipes within a single building, multiple buildings or even across an entire city! If your home is serviced by a heat network, you do not need an individual boiler or electric heater.
Heat in a heat network is centrally generated. The central heat source is often referred to as the Energy Centre. Energy Centres can be powered in many ways and might come from a number of different energy sources, including renewable technologies and then distributed to your property by distribution pipework. You will normally have a Hydraulic Interface Unit (HIU) or other system to turn the heating on and off - it’s normally around the same size as a gas boiler.
This means you will pay for what you use, as measured by a heat meter, also known as a thermal energy meter. You won't have your own individual boiler and your utility supplier for heat and/or hot water will be the Heat Network Operator, which is the organisation that operates and/or owns the heat network.
There are a number of sustainability benefits of heat networks as well as providing a reliable and cost-effective method of supply to consumers. A heat network isn't a new idea and they have been extremely popular across Europe for decades and are increasingly common in the UK, especially when linked to renewable technologies.