Heat network operators should not be disconcerted by the recent changes to the Heat Networks Metering and Billing Regulations which came into effect on 27th November 2020. Most district and community heating networks installed after 2014 satisfy the metering requirements stipulated by these Regulations and will need to do nothing until their 4yr heat network notification has expired.
The new rules apply mainly to new networks and to older existing networks that are unmetered and had previously considered themselves as exempt from the Regulations.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published a new notification template. Notification of a heat network now requires that each building be classified as ‘viable’, ‘exempt’, or ‘open’.
All new district heating networks (multi-building) are automatically classified as ‘viable’.
Existing networks & new individual building communal heating systems will be initially classified as ‘open’ unless they meet specific exemptions including leaseholder agreements or accommodation type (e.g. supported living; student accommodation). ‘Open’ networks must undergo a cost-effectiveness assessment to determine whether they are ‘viable’ for installing the metering equipment. Networks remaining as ‘open’ undergo the cost-effectiveness assessment again upon renotification four years later.
Notification to the Office of Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) will be due by 27th November 2021 and if metering is required, installation must be completed by 1st September 2022. Get in touch with Hodkinson Consultancy if you need help to determine what action you are required to take.