Call for Evidence: Heat as a Service as a potential route to low carbon heating in Scotland

Published: 9 October 2020

Energy Systems Catapult is working with ClimateXChange to summarise evidence around the potential of heat as a service (HaaS) to help the Scottish Government accelerate uptake of low carbon heat.

HaaS provides customers with warmth or heat in their homes, in contrast to the way most people currently pay to heat their homes by paying for their heating system and the fuel they use. As one of the barriers to uptake of low carbon heating systems is consumer concern about the cost and effectiveness of these alternatives, this approach has potential as customers are guaranteed comfort for the price they pay, independent of the type of heating system that provides it.

Our research aims to identify and review up-to-date evidence of the potential of Heat as a Service to accelerate the uptake of low carbon heat in Scotland. We will do this by:

  • Conducting a review of the available documented evidence of HaaS initiatives in Scotland, the UK and abroad
  • Approaching organisations with experience, expertise or intentions of providing HaaS, relevant to Scotland, to speak to us about their knowledge of these services
  • Evaluate the gathered evidence to provide an evidenced-based review of the potential of HaaS to effectively support the uptake of low carbon heat in Scotland

We would like to invite relevant organisations to share their views, experiences and intentions around HaaS in order to help us understand:

  • How businesses are currently providing or plan to provide services related to HaaS and how such services could work in Scotland
  • The public’s views and experiences of HaaS, including what drives or prevents them from taking it up, what they like about it when they do take it up, and whether experiencing it changes their views
  • The practical benefits and limitations of HaaS for consumers, suppliers and installers
  • How ready the market is to deliver HaaS in Scotland.

For the purposes of this call, “HaaS” is defined as any heating service where the customer pays for a heat output or outcome (e.g. heating their home to 20 degrees for 5 hours a day), rather than directly for the energy they consume in achieving this. We are also interested in ways businesses might make access to low carbon heating systems more accessible through lease or rental agreements, where the upfront and maintenance costs of the heating system are covered by a service provider in exchange for a fixed regular payment from the customer.

This includes, but is not limited, to services such as:

  • Heating system lease/rentals (with or without maintenance)
  • Services which charge for the delivery of heat, warmth, temperature or comfort (not directly for the fuel supplied to achieve this)
  • District or communal heating services

The review will focus on businesses and domestic (i.e. residential) consumers and households in Scotland where possible, otherwise in the UK. Evidence from other regions and countries is also welcome, accompanied by an explanation of why it may be applicable to Scotland.

Who is this call for evidence open to?

We would like to invite organisations to contact us who can provide a variety of different perspectives, including (but not limited to):

  • Regulators, policy makers and consumer groups
  • Network operators
  • Energy suppliers
  • Heating system and heating control manufacturers
  • Installers
  • Relevant industry bodies

We welcome the sharing of this call for evidence among your own networks.

How can you respond?

To respond to this call, please email by Monday 19 October 2020.

In your response, please explain:

  • Who you are responding for (e.g. which organisation or individual)
  • Your (or your organisation’s) connection to this or related topics
  • What kind of HaaS model you can share your experience of
  • How your insight is relevant to Scotland

We may wish to contact you during this project to speak to you further, or for other related projects in the future. If you are happy for us to do so, please provide your contact details in your response.

We may publicly acknowledge those who have provided relevant responses to this call. If you would like to be omitted from such acknowledgement or otherwise wish your response to be treated confidentially, please highlight this in your response.

This is a rapid call for evidence, due to the timetable for this project. We will endeavour to contact as many potential respondents as possible but priority will be given to ensuring a wide range of perspectives.