The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014
11 November 2016
The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 are designed to implement the metering and billing requirements of the 2012 EU Energy Efficiency Directive. This article looks at the detail surrounding the implementation.
What are they?
These Regulations implement the metering and billing requirements of the 2012 EU Energy Efficiency Directive, specifically in relation to heating and cooling. The aim is to ensure that customers are aware of the amount of heat they are consuming and to help them to reduce their heating costs by only using the amount of heat they actually require.
Who do the Regulations affect?
Both commercial and residential landlords who supply and charge occupiers for heating, hot water or cooling through communal heating or a district heat network.
What is the difference between communal heating and a district heat network?
Communal heating means one building with a system serving at least two customers for heating, hot water or cooling.
A district heat network refers to a system serving more than one building, with one or more customers.
The Regulations will therefore apply to landlords charging occupiers for heating, hot water or cooling in multi-let buildings and in more than one building served by the same network.
When do they come into force?
The Regulations partially came into force on 18 December 2014. The first phase of this legislation included a requirement for landlords to notify the National Measurement Office with details of their system or network by 31 December 2015.
The second phase includes a duty to install meters by 31 December 2016.
What do I need to do?
If you are a landlord who supplies and charges occupiers for heating, hot water or cooling through communal heating or a district heat network, then by 31 December 2016 you need to ensure that meters are installed for each customer to measure the consumption of heat, cooling or hot water, unless it would not be technically feasible or cost-effective. If this is the case, “heat cost allocators” and thermostatic radiator valves and hot water meters need to be installed unless, again, it is not cost-effective. The Regulations set out the criteria for determining where installation is not cost-effective or technically feasible and this assessment has to be repeated every four years.
What happens if I don’t comply?
Failure to comply with the Regulations can lead to a fine of up to £5,000 in each case, with daily penalties accruing, and can ultimately lead to criminal sanctions (together with potentially unlimited fines).