Switch2 Blog

The Heat Network Regulations Update: September 2017

Posted by Ian Allan on 14-Sep-2017 15:00:00

At our latest seminar, Simon Trevenna from the Department of Business Energy Industrial Strategy (BEIS) discussed the latest updates to the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations since the General Election held in May 2017. This blog looks at the key information and changes to deadlines that you need to know, in order to stay compliant.

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A brief synopsis to the heat network regulations

Established in 2014, The Heat Network Regulations was introduced as part of the transposition 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.

The 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

For a full breakdown of these three stipulations, download our eGuide: An Essential Guide to the Heat Network Regulations.

Updates to the regulation

Fast forward 2 and a half years and like most legislation, we are still seeing the teething problems often associated with the role out of a new law. So what are the updates from BEIS on the Regulations? We’ve compiled our notes raised at our heat seminar session to explain what you need to know.

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 December 2015. To date over 17,000 networks have gone through this process, representing over 2,000 suppliers, with many more still to abide by the first stipulation of the location, capacity and supply figures for its heat network or communal heating scheme.

Heat network regulation deadlines

Deadline for the duty to notify has passed. Below is a snapshot of when and what needs to be abided by:

Requirement

Deadline

Building level metering on multi-occupancy buildings on DHNs where more than one final customer is charged for the heat supplied

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

from December 2014

Heat suppliers must meet the billing requirements for new builds from when the network commences operation

from December 2014

The notification for new build systems must be made when it commences operation

n/a

The date from which final customer meters must be fitted subject to the viability tool

TBC

 Final customer metering

Simply put, the duty to fit final customer meters to existing unmetered buildings is currently on hold. The December 2016 deadline is planned to be extended following the proposed new feasibility tool.

Before the 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. Waiting for the tool to opt out is optional, and in any case you will need to under-go the viability test once launched, which may mean that you are liable to abide by the duty meter to final customers.

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 customers 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.

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 metering; will be put in place.    

Key takeaways:

  • For any outstanding heat networks/ communal heating scheme notifications, these should be done as soon as possible. The form to register your scheme is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/heat-networks
  • The only parts of the regulation that are on hold are the feasibility tool and the retrofit of final meters. All other deadlines and requirements still stand
  • Point of entry meters in multi-occupancy buildings is an obligation and therefore should be fitted, this law is enforceable now
  • There are no changes to Duty to Notify or Duty to Bill

 

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Ian Allan

Head of R&D at Switch2