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The benefits of heat network metering

The Heat Network (Metering & Billing) Regulations introduced to the UK in 2014 aim to provide fairer billing for heat network customers and reduce the overall consumption of the network. Anyone supplying and charging for heating, cooling or hot water must comply with the regulations. For more information see our Heat Networks Metering & Billing page on the Sustain hub.

The first part of the compliance process involved heat network owners notifying a central body (Regulatory Delivery) of the existence of their heat network. The deadline for notification was 31st December 2015 and the resulting notification of tens of thousands of heat networks demonstrates the significant number of tenants that rely on communal networks to supply their heating, cooling and hot water.

The next stage of the regulations is a viability assessment to determine whether it is technically and financially viable for operators of heat networks to install individual meters for each end customer. As part of this the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Regulatory Delivery Directorate recently contracted us to undertake research into the unit cost of heat, cooling and hot water meter supply and installation for a range of building types and sizes. The subsequent viability assessment tool is due to be issued later this year.

Whatever the outcome of the above, the installation of individual meters would have many benefits to both the operator and the end customer of the heat network, these include:

  • Accurate and fairer billing for tenants

Meters will allow tenants to be billed based on their actual consumption rather than apportioning consumption based on dwelling size or floor area and therefore offers a fairer billing solution.

  • Reduced network consumption

Metering individual usage will allow tenants to better understand their energy consumption and as a result be incentivised to reduce their consumption in order to reduce costs.

  • Better network management

A better understanding of heating and hot water demand will allow for improved management of the overall network, reducing operating and maintenance costs.

  • Identification of areas of inefficiency

Introducing sub-metering will help to highlight areas of inefficiency across the network. Once addressed these will reduce operating costs, tenant bills and carbon emissions.

If you would like advice regarding the options and costs for installing heat metering for your communal or district network, please get in touch with James Carberry and our heat metering team would be more than happy to offer their expert advice.

This blog first appeared on the Sustain website.

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