Wednesday 25th August 2021 |
Leeds City Council is partnering with Switch2 Energy to achieve compliance with the updated Heat Network (Metering & Billing) Regulations.
Switch2 has been Leeds City Council’s metering and billing partner for more than 20 years – serving 1,400 properties across 9 sites with heat networks. This includes the provision of smart meters and pay-as-you-go and credit billing services.
Recent updates to the regulations mean that in less than 4 months’ time (by 27 November 2021), heat network suppliers must complete assessments to determine whether they need to retrofit final customer meters or heat cost allocators on existing unmetered networks.
This new legal requirement applies unless it is economically or technically unfeasible to do so, or the buildings are classed as exempt. Where proved viable, installations must be completed by 1 September 2022.
It has been mandatory to install final customer meters on new builds and most buildings undergoing major renovation since the regulations were first introduced in 2014, but the legal requirement to install heat meters within existing properties was delayed. This was due to issues with a feasibility tool to assess the economic and technical viability of retrofitting metering.
With most of Leeds City Council’s schemes already metered there were only 8 schemes which needed surveying. To start the compliance process, Switch2 firstly carried out a desktop assessment of unmetered housing stock following its Meter2Bill process. It was determined that 6 of the 8 residential sites fell into the ‘open’ class – requiring a feasibility assessment to determine the viability of retrofitting individual meters. The other two sites were exempt.
Switch2’s on-site metering engineers then completed physical surveys to conclude that it was technically viable to retrofit final customer meters within individual homes at 3 of the 6 open class sites. It was confirmed that the other open class sites were not currently viable due to pipework configurations and the ageing heat infrastructure.
Using the revised cost effectiveness tool, which was recently introduced as part of the regulatory updates, Switch2 provided the information required by Leeds to complete the new notifications template before the November 2021 deadline.
Switch2 has also costed the supply and installation of new metering equipment across the 100 viable properties, enabling upgrades to be carried out ahead of the regulatory September 2022 completion date.
Simon Hemingway – Gas Compliance Manager for Leeds City Council, said: “Switch2 has supported us every step of the way, providing expert support through the process of better understanding our housing stock through surveys – to give clarity where we are required by law to install meters. From these findings we are putting plans in place install to meters into our schemes to ensure compliance and to deliver an excellent service to our residents.”
The regulations were first introduced in 2014 to align with the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. Enforcement is carried out by the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), with civil and criminal penalties for non-compliance. Legislation applies to all sites that distribute thermal energy for heating, cooling or hot water from a central source to more than one end user, building or location.