Detailed guide: Heat network metering and billing regulations: compliance and guidance

The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 implement the requirements in the Energy Efficiency Directive with respect to the supply of distributed heat, cooling and hot water.

The Energy Efficiency Directive promotes energy efficiency in the EU by laying down rules to overcome challenges in the supply and use of energy.

Scope

To understand whether or not you are affected by the regulations, the Office for Product Safety and Standards (Safety & Standards) has developed a guidance document to help define what is and isn’t in scope.

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The following are dates when the regulation states that requirements need to be met:

  • from 18 December 2014 the fitting of building level meters on multi-occupancy buildings, where more than one final customer is charged for the heat supplied, is required
  • from 18 December 2014 meters must be fitted for any district heating connection to a newly constructed building or where a major renovation of building on a district heating network
  • from 31 December 2014 heat suppliers must meet the billing requirements or for new builds from when the network commences operation
  • from 31 December 2015 the notification for new build systems must be made on or before it commences operation
  • the date from which final customer meters must be fitted subject to cost-effective tests will be detailed in the amended regulations (see below)

BEIS has launched a public consultation on a revised methodology for assessing the cost effectiveness of metering for district and communal heat networks. The closing date for responses is the 12 December 2019. Following this consultation, BEIS intends to amend the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 (as amended) (‘the Regulations’) and launch the associated revised cost effectiveness tool.

Once the Regulations have been amended and the revised tool published, heat suppliers will be obligated to carry out the cost-effectiveness assessment and install meters where required within a specified compliance period. For companies which are governed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the FCA has previously confirmed that, until such time, it would not be appropriate for them to impose fines or other disciplinary measures, or take other regulatory action, in respect of a breach of the requirement that certain heat suppliers must test whether it is cost-effective to fit individual customer heat meters in multi-occupancy/multi-purpose buildings or single customer buildings on district heat networks. As such, it is not considered necessary for a heat supplier to inform the FCA if it has been unable to meet this requirement of the Regulations.

The remaining requirements in the Regulations remain unaffected (for example, in relation to building-level meters and newly constructed buildings connected to a district heating network and those buildings on district heating networks that undergo a major renovation). The consultation will also seek views on some additional areas, including where the regulations could benefit from clarification following the first five years of implementation.

Frequently asked questions

Safety & Standards receives a large number of enquiries relating to the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 and has summarised some of the most common in the following document.

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Notifications

If you are a supplier of heat, cooling, and/or hot water you must notify Safety & Standards using the updated notification template below. This has been updated to make notifying Safety & Standards easier and quicker.

Heat suppliers should use the process below to notify Safety & Standards of their network(s)

Unless otherwise indicated, every box should be completed.

Notification form

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The Heat Metering and Billing Regulations 2014 Notification Data

The Heat Metering and Billing Regulations 2014 require heat suppliers to notify the Secretary of State if they have an existing heat network.

As of November 2016, notifications representing around 17,000 networks have been collected under the requirement. This includes both district heating systems and communal heating. The summary tables provide data on the number of networks reported with a country split, number of final customers by location and building type, heating capacity (kW), generation (kWh) and supplied (kWh) by country for networks that have been quality assured and cooling capacity (kW), generation (kWh) and supplied (kWh) in the UK for networks that have been quality assured.

On 7 December 2017 the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) issued a mandatory notice under section 174 of the Enterprise Act 2002 to BEIS. This requires BEIS to produce data relating to heat network notifications to the CMA, to support a market study by the CMA into the heat networks sector. On this basis, BEIS has provided the CMA with a copy of the information provided by heat suppliers (including some personal data) as part of the notification process. Any information disclosed to the CMA is governed by the protections offered by Part 9 of the Enterprise Act 2002, the Data Protection Act 1998, and all other applicable information law.

BEIS welcomes the CMA’s announcement of a market study on the heat networks sector and will support the CMA in its evidence gathering. The study will contribute to developing our understanding of the market and any potential issues affecting heat networks customers. More information on the CMA and the market study can be found on the CMA case page.

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Heat estimator tool and guidance

Safety & Standards has developed guidance to assist heat suppliers in providing information as part of the notification.

An associated spreadsheet, the Heat Estimator, has been created to further aid calculations. Each worksheet in the Heat Estimator corresponds to the numbered methods described in the guidance. The data worksheet is left visible so users can understand which values are being used.

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Scotland only requirement

If the majority of your final customers are in Scotland you will also have to declare the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) of every final customer on the network. Scottish UPRNs can be found on the One Scotland Gazetteer. A UPRN spreadsheet is available on the second sheet of the notifications template or stand-alone here: UPRN table UPRN input sheet. Scotland only (MS Excel Spreadsheet, 932KB) . Please complete one UPRN sheet per network.

Returning completed notifications

Once you have completed the notification template please return either by email to heatnotifications@beis.gov.uk or by post to:

Office for Product Safety and Standards
Heat Network Notification
Victoria Square House
Victoria Square
Birmingham
B2 4AJ

The deadline for notifying Safety & Standards for the first time was 31st December 2015.

Heat suppliers must submit an updated notification for every four year period following first notification.

If you submitted a notification for a network in 2015, you must re-submit a notification for the network in 2019 using this form.

There is no requirement to re-notify due to a change of heat supplier, technology type or ownership prior to the four year period following the previous notification.

The sections on the notification form on cost effectiveness do not need to be completed but the remaining notification requirements still apply.

Heat suppliers must submit an updated notification for every four year period following first notification. There is no requirement to re-notify for a change of heat supplier.

Legislation

The requirements of the Energy Efficiency Directive with respect to the supply of distributed heat, cooling and hot water is part of UK law under the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 as amended by the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) (Amendment) Regulations 2015.

The European Commission has produced a guidance document to help explain the heat networks legislation.