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- Making sense of the heat network regulations
The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 are still causing confusion among landlords and building operators/managers.
The regulations apply to ‘heat suppliers’, that is parties who supply and charge for the supply of heating, cooling or hot water to a final customer, through either a communal heating network or district heat network.
To avoid the risk of non-compliance, whilst taking advantage of some of the opportunities the regulations bring, we have outlined 6 steps detailing everything you need to know and do as a heat supplier.
STEP 1: Submit your re-notifications
Notifications providing information on the details and characteristics of heat networks are required to be submitted every 4 years. With the first notification deadline being December 2015, many networks are required to re-notify this year.
STEP 2: Don’t forget notifications for new sites
If you have any new build networks, notifications are required to be made on or before operation of the new communal/district network. If you have existing buildings that are new to your portfolio, you should check whether notifications have been submitted in the past and make a note of when they are due again. Also remember to submit any that are outstanding.
STEP 3: Maintain / periodically check your heat meters and use them to issue accurate energy billing
For networks where heat meters have already been installed in accordance with the regulations, there is a requirement to ensure that these are periodically checked and recording accurately. The meters are also required to be used to accurately bill occupiers for their actual heating and cooling usage, including the provision of transparent billing information in line with the requirements stipulated in the regulations.
STEP 4: Stay informed on future requirements for heat meter feasibility studies
The requirement to install meters for heating/cooling/hot water on communal networks is subject to cost effectiveness and technical feasibility. Due to some of the challenges of installing heat meters and the difficulty in producing a tool to assess feasibility, this aspect of the regulations is currently on hold. The government plans to launch a consultation this year to review the regulations in general, so watch this space…
STEP 5: Know the mandatory requirements around heat metering
There is a common misconception that all metering requirements under the regulations are subject to feasibility study. Some of the metering requirements around district systems and new builds within district systems are mandatory and not subject to feasibility. It is important to make sure you understand these specific requirements and are complying.
STEP 6: Take advantage of the benefits of heat metering by voluntarily installing these where appropriate
Heat meters bring about a number of benefits including; ensuring that the recharge of heating/cooling/hot water costs is fair and equitable, keeping energy costs within the service charge low by enabling the direct recovery of these costs, and providing an enhanced level of data for energy management and monitoring purposes. Why not consider whether there are any buildings/networks within your portfolio where these benefits can be realised by installing heat meters ahead of any future mandatory requirement.
An Infosheet can be downloaded here: Heat Network Regulations
For further advice and support on complying with the Heat Network Regulations, please do get in touch:
Tel: 01252 560 379