A brief synopsis to the Heat Network regulations (2014)
Established in 2014, The Heat Network Regulations (2014) was introduced as part of the European Union’s Energy Efficiency Directive; a cornerstone in the EU Europe 2020 plan for member states to lower their energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
There have been guidance notes released and updated by the department for Business, Energy& Industrial Strategy (BEIS). These can be found here.
These regulations relate to the distribution of thermal energy from a central source to more than one end user, building or location for the purposes of heating, cooling or hot water supply; on district and community heating. The person or body ultimately responsible for supplying and charging these end users (termed a ‘heat supplier’) is now subject to three key requirements:
- Duty to Notify
- Duty to Meter
- Duty to Bill
Notifications of heat networks
The deadline to notify BEIS regarding heat networks/communal heating schemes has now passed. Heat suppliers should have submitted their notification of existing heat networks by 31st December 2015.
Below is a snapshot of when and what needs to be abided by:
- Building level metering on multi-occupancy buildings on District Housing Network where more than one final customer is charged for the heat supplied
Deadline: December 2014
- Meters must be fitted for any district heating connective to a newly constructed building or where a major renovation of building on a district heating network
Deadline: From December 2014
- Heat suppliers must meet the billing requirements for new builds from when the network commences operation
Deadline: From December 2014
- The date from which final customer meters must be fitted is subject to the viability tool, this is not yet been confirmed
Point of entry meters
Obligation to fit point of entry meters is still in place and BEIS will enforce this if ignored. It means that you must install point of entry meters for buildings with more than one customer connected to a district heat network. Installing point of entry meters is in effect mandatory. As the deadline has now past, every building that falls within the scope should be fitted with point of entry meters. If not, the heat supplier should have plans in place to comply within a reasonable timescale.
Final customer metering
The duty to fit final customer meters to existing unmetered buildings is currently on hold. The December 2016 deadline is planned has been extended following the proposed new feasibility tool.
Before the last general election was announced the feasibility, tool was expected to be made available with a public consultation held through summer 2017 with a view to release the revised tool late 2017. However, this has now changed, and is likely to be released for consultation at the end of 2017, with the release of the revised tool launched sometime in 2018. An updated deadline will then be announced for fitting heat meters. There is, of course, nothing to stop you complying with these Regulations now.
What’s next? Policy consultations
A public consultation at the end of 2017 will review the Regulations, including the introduction of the new viability tool. Once the consultation has finalised, it is likely that the final strand to the regulation – final customer billing and metering; will follow.