District heating is “a system for distributing heat generated in a centralised location through a system of insulated pipes for residential and commercial heating requirements”. In 2017 Southwark reported it provides 17,000 council properties with heat and hot water through existing district heating systems and networks.
Southwark Council has been working hard to ensure no one is left in the cold over winter, although many properties were left without heating and hot water over the winter months as district heating systems failed. Southwark News reported widely
Now a District Heating Networks Operation – Residents Working Group is being explored and a draft document has been produced “District Heating Networks Operation – Residents Working Group, Terms of Reference”. The purpose of the document is to explore the scope for establishing such a group to:
- Provide a direct link between residents and the council’s engineering team to improve two-way communication
- Provide a further link between tenants council, SGTO, homeowners council and council officers responsible for district heating’s.
- Ensure that Southwark Council has effective policies and management arrangements covering all aspects of district heating system operation.
- Promote continual improvement of the council’s operation of the district heating systems.
These quarterly will ask that members include a Tenant & Homeowner Involvement Officer and Gas Contracts Manager from Southwark Council. There will also be representatives from the Tenants Council, Homeowners Council, TMO group and SGTO of whom should live within properties of district heating.