The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) will have a study carried out into technical problems with thermal-energy storage systems (TES systems). With this study, ACM wants to gain more insight into the technical causes of problems with such TES systems so that it becomes clear what suppliers must do to solve problems and to guarantee a secure supply of energy. ACM wants to use the results of the study in enforcement cases, and also when providing substantive input about the new Collective Supply of Heat Act (in Dutch: Wet Collectieve Warmtevoorziening).
Although most TES systems often work properly too, ACM does hear from residents that have problems with this type of heating system. ACM finds it important that suppliers solve and prevent the problems these residents have with TES systems, so that residents are able to consume heat without having to worry about anything. This also helps bolster public support for the role of heat in the energy transition.
With the study, ACM will have an overview of how many TES systems there are, what technical problems may occur with such systems, and what possible solutions may exist. The study also provides insight into the technical standards for TES systems, for example, the design of the sources and the above-ground parts of these systems. It also looks into the quality requirements from the residents’ point of view, such as insight into the supplied heat, insight into the quality of heat, and cost-allocation methods.
In a letter to the State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK) of 27 July 2021, ACM already called attention to these problems, and announced it would have this study carried out.
ACM regularly sits down with residents that have had problems (including technical problems) for a long time already with heat supplied by TES systems that had been installed between 2005 and 2010. When taking a shower, some residents often get water that is either too hot or too cold, whereas others indicate that they are left without space heating as soon as the outside temperature drops below zero degrees Celsius. Furthermore, residents say that they do not receive any compensations for disruptions.