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. Guidance notes have been released, and updated, by the department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). 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:
The deadline to notify BEIS of 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:
The obligation to fit point of entry meters are 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.
The duty to fit final customer meters to existing unmetered buildings is currently on hold. The December 2016 deadline 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.
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.
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