The clear and the murky world of the UK’s Heat Network Regulations – part 1

A few of you in the UK may have heard of the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014, but a lot of won’t have; the scary thing is they probably affect you and you only have until 31st December 2015 to complete the first stage!

The regulations are the UK’s response to the EU Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU (the same directive that brought us ESOS) Articles 9-11 on Metering and Billing Information. Their aim is to empower energy consumers to better manage their consumption, by providing free and easy access to data on consumption through individual metering.

Who is affected?

In short, heat suppliers.

Under the regulations a ‘heat supplier’ is defined as:

“A person who supplies heat and charges for the supply of heating, cooling or hot water to a final customer, through:

  • Communal heating; or
  • A district heating network”

So if you or your organisation ‘sells’ heat (not gas or oil but actual heat), cooling or hot water then the regulations apply to you. Even if it’s as part of a package, for example through ground rent, then you are a ‘heat supplier’ under the regulations. Unlike other regulations there is no exemption based on size – if you are a one-man-band renting a building and subletting an office which includes the provision of heat then you need to comply.

What do you need to do?

There are three key stages to the regulations:
notify, install kit, bill

Firstly you are required to notify the Secretary of State via the National Measurement and Regulation Office (NMRO), about the heating systems that fall under the regs and supply the details of the district or communal heating. The NMRO has produced some handy templates and guidance for doing this, but it’s still not very clear – I have an engineering degree and it took me a while to get my head around it all. But most significantly this has to be completed by 31st December 2015 so you need to get a move on!

Once you’ve done this you will need to look at whether it is cost effective and feasible to install meters for each final customer, and then how you will bill them. The deadline for installing any metering kit is 31st December 2016.

I’ll be writing in more detail about the second and third stages in the coming weeks but as the notification deadline of 31st December 2015 is very close I recommend you start checking out what you need to do for stage 1 PDQ!

How Anthesis can help

If you don’t want the headache of carrying out the assessment of your premises or don’t have time to complete the process in time Anthesis can help; we are currently helping organisations by:

  • Undertaking surveys (either desktop or on site) to establish which of their properties supply heat, cooling or hot water to tenants.
  • Completing Notification Templates for submission to NMRO in compliance with Regulation 3 (Duty to notify) by 31st December 2015
  • Carrying out cost effectiveness and feasibility assessment in line with Schedule 1
  • Planning for compliance with Regulations 4 to 9 (Installing equipment as required and billing in line with Schedule 2) by 31st December 2016
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