The Heat Networks (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 – do they affect you?

A new UK regulation from the EU Energy Efficiency Directive came into force on 18 December 2014 – with very little publicity.

The aim of The Heat Networks (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 is to give consumers better control over the heat they consume and to identify inefficient heating systems. Complying with the regulations is likely to be both time consuming and costly. In view of the deadlines (first deadline 31 December 2015), outstanding compliance with the regulations needs to be addressed immediately.

The regulations affect organisations which supply heat through district heat networks and communal heating systems in residential and commercial buildings in the UK, in both the private and public sectors. This means that organisations that own multi occupied buildings such as blocks of flats, multi-let offices, hotels and halls of residences could all be affected.

Who is in scope?

Anyone who supplies and charges for heating, cooling or hot water (a heat supplier) through a central source in a building occupied by more than one final customer (communal heating) or through a district heat network will have to comply.

For the purposes of the regulations, reference to heat and heating includes cooling and supply of hot water.

What types of property are affected?

Examples include:

  • Rented accommodation with a single heat source
  • Sub-let space such as fitness centres or restaurants in hotels
  • An industrial site where a contract exists for the supply of heat from an adjoining plant or through a network
  • University halls of residences
  • Sheltered and social housing
  • Shopping centres
  • Multi-let office buildings

What types of property are not in scope?

Where there is no direct contract between the heat supplier and the end user or the arrangement is transitory. Examples of exclusions are:

  • Hotel rooms except where they are used as dwellings
  • Rental of a squash court in a leisure centre
  • Prisons
  • Nursing homes
  • Industrial sites where heat is generated and distributed as part of an industrial process.

I am a heat supplier to more than 1 final user. What do I have to do to comply?

From 31 December 2014:

Suppliers must ensure that billing information is accurate and based on actual consumption. The customer should receive a bill at least once a year. There are detailed requirements on billing information.

By 31 December 2015:

Notify the National Measurement and Regulation Office – the administrator and enforcing authority – on the operation of such heating systems. This notification includes location and types of buildings supplied, number of end users and types of heating.

Deadline for fitting final customer meters – this has been extended:

Suppliers are required to install individual meters “if cost effective and technically feasible”, or to install heat cost allocators and thermostatic valves at each radiator “if cost effective and technically feasible”.

The new deadline for fitting final customer meters or heat cost allocators (subject to cost-effective tests) will be given in amended regulations, planned for 2017. No further cost effectiveness assessments should be undertaken until further notice.

BEIS is working towards launching a public consultation in early 2017 on a revised methodology for assessing the cost effectiveness of metering for district and communal heat networks.  The consultation will also seek views on some additional areas where the regulations could benefit from clarification.

Following the planned public consultation, BEIS intend to launch the new cost effectiveness tool and accompanying regulatory amendments in 2017.

For a copy of the National Measurement and Regulation Office’s guidance please click here.

Next steps

Do not delay!

Our overriding aim is reducing the risk of non-compliance. We can advise if you are in scope, and if you are, plan and manage the compliance process for you. We will help you comply as efficiently as possible, while deriving the optimal benefit from the scheme. Please get in touch if you would like any more information about these regulations.

 

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