Heat network metering & billing regulations

Heat metering in district and community heating schemes is rising up the agenda since the introduction of the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations. These regulations came from the European Union’s Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and came into force in 2014. They state new rules about installing meters for monitoring usage and recording details of communal heat schemes. Any heat network operator needs to be aware of the Regulations, steps required to be complaint and future actions.

Our 35 years’ experience can help guide you through what you need to know about the Regulation and what you must have in place in order to be compliant. Find out more about our Meter2Bill service. 

This page was last updated on 20th September 2021 to reflect the updates to the cost effectiveness tool and retrofitting heat meters.

Need help with the heat network (metering and billing) regulation?

Need to know about Heat Network Metering & Billing Regulations in the UK? Read our latest guide, which includes the November 2020 updates, or contact us and we’ll give you all the relevant information you need.

Regulation overview (updated 20th September 2021)

The regulations cover every community and district heating system across the UK and require the ‘heat supplier’, which is the person or body ultimately responsible for supplying and charging the ‘final customer’ (who consumes the heat), to meet three key mandatory requirements, which are all already in place:

  1. Notification:

The duty to notify

Since December 2015, it has been mandatory for heat suppliers to inform BEIS about the location of any district heat network or communal heating scheme – as well as its capacity and supply figures. 17,000 heat suppliers have complied with this requirement, but many have failed to do so and must register retrospectively as a matter of urgency.  Registrations must be updated every four years.

  1. Metering:

The duty to meter

It is mandatory to install point of entry, or ‘bulk’ meters (which record the amount of heat delivered into the property) for buildings with one or more customers connected to a district heat network. Those heat suppliers who haven’t already complied must have plans in place to comply within a reasonable timescale.

Retrofitting final customer meters to existing heat schemes is now part of the Regulations since the launch of the Cost Effectiveness Tool in November 2020. It is mandatory for  new builds and most  buildings undergoing major renovation to have heat meters fitted. If these meters are not feasible, the viability of heat cost allocators must be considered.

  1. Billing:

The duty to bill

End customers must be billed using actual meter readings at least once a year, or quarterly where electronic billing is used. Bills must contain pricing and consumption data and offer information on improving energy efficiency.

Latest updates to heat network regulations – updated September 2021

In 2020 there was a consultation which mainly focused around provisions for unmetered schemes. this was laid before Parliament in November 2020, with the updates launched on 27th November 2020. The updates include:

  • A revised heat network notification template has been released which will allow operators to identify networks that meet the criteria of newly-created metering and billing exemptions.
  • BEIS announced there will be a delay to the requirement for submitting the re-notification template during this ‘transition period’ (from 27 November 2020, when the amendments came into force, to 1 September 2022), for the networks that are due to be re-notified in this period, to allow the heat suppliers to comply with the introduced changes.
  • Installing final customer heat meters on new developments is mandatory. The requirement to fit final customer meters to existing unmetered schemes was delayed due to issues with the feasibility tool. However, in November 2020 the new cost-effectiveness tool was released, along with a new class system. If your building falls within the ‘open’ class and you want to test the financial and technical feasibility of the scheme, you need to have completed this by 27th November 2021.

Contact for us to help survey a scheme

Who enforces the regulations in the UK? There are over 17,000 heat networks in the UK, supplying heat and hot water to over 400,000 private dwellings, commercial premises, and public buildings. The legislation is enforced in the UK by the Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). BEIS are also responsible for receiving notifications under regulation. Find out more here. 
What are my requirements to fit point of entry (bulk) meters? The regulations state that a meter must be situated at a heat exchanger in the building or at the point of entry of the district heat network pipes into the building. This type of meter is generally known as a bulk meter. There is also an ongoing obligation to continuously operate, properly maintain and periodically check for errors.
Who are the heat suppliers? Heat supplier means a person who supplies and charges for the supply of heating, cooling or hot water to a final customer, through— (a) Communal heating; or (b) A district heat network.
Who are the final customers? Final customers are the end users of the heating supplied by district heat networks and communal heating. Final customers are effectively the purchasers of the heat who have a direct financial arrangement with a heat supplier to provide the heating to them.
What happens if tenants are transient?

 

See the list of exclusions in Heat Networks Scope Guidance on page 4.
What is the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED)?

 

The EED promotes energy efficiency in the EU to achieve the on energy efficiency. It lays down rules to overcome market failures that impede efficiency in the supply and use of energy.

Need help with the heat network (metering and billing) regulation?

Read our latest guide (includes November 2020 updates) or contact us and we’ll give you all the relevant information you need.

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