Update: The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations

 

On 27th November we will see amendments to the Heat Regs coming into force in the form of the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. When this legislation arrives, there are a number of key changes amongst which the following will apply.

A new cost effectiveness tool will be released. You may recall an earlier and subsequently withdrawn tool was introduced following the initial introduction of the Heat Regs in 2014. The new tool is expected to assess whether a heat supplier is required to install metering devices on the heat network. There will be deadlines to complete the assessment of the cost-effective process and these are as follows:

  • Initial conducting of the cost effectiveness exercise, to be completed by 27th November 2021.
  • Meters and/or Heat Cost Allocators (HCA) to be installed by 1st September 2022.

The impact of this and the timescales are limited. Once launched, the tool will need to be applied to all heat networks that are not currently meeting the requirements for billing under Regulation 9. Any building receiving a communal fuel bill which is recharged to the final customer via any mechanism other than consumption will need to be subjected to the Cost Effectiveness Procedure (CEP) defined under the Heat Regs.

Our interpretation is that whilst the under schedule 2 of the regulations there is a provision that excludes properties with more than one entry point for pipes, or the location of pipes is unknown, this does not exclude the installation of HCA which are the subject of the CEP, to determine whether the energy savings achieved over a 10 year period is greater than the costs of installing HCA to every radiator in the building. This does include for Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRV’s).

Ongoing responsibilities particularly in the areas of final customer billing which will include clarification with metering devices.

This is expected to address minimum requirements for metering and possibilities of reference to the Metering Instrumentation Directive (MID) and standards within. The relevance of this to protect the final customer and ensure that metering equipment is calibrated to a defined accuracy.

A revised Notification Template (NT) will be released which will incorporate areas that the amended Regs address.

There will be a transitionary period between 27/11/20 and 01/09/22, given the lead-time to getting the installation of meters and HCA completed.

For further reading, please visit legislation.gov.uk.

 

Terms Explained

 

Heat Network

A system that distributes thermal energy (heat) via a network of pipes around a building (or buildings), allowing the final customer to access this energy for use locally. Typically for the purposes of space heating, cooling and hot water. Cooling is also covered under the Heat Regs.

 

Cost Effectiveness Tool

The Cost Effectiveness Tool will likely be in the form of an Excel spreadsheet where site data can be inputted. This will be issued by BEIS and will allow heat suppliers to determine whether or not they are required to install metering devices, which could include heat meters and heat cost allocators.

 

Heat Cost Allocators

Heat Cost Allocators measure the energy consumption of a room heating radiator. It will record the radiator and room temperature and calculate the energy released.

 

Thermostatic Radiator Valve

Thermostatic Radiator Valves are fitted to the radiator and allow the regulation of water flow through the radiator (and therefore the amount of heat) depending on the position of the valve. The valve will open and close according to the ambient room temperature and the position set on the valve. The TRV maintains a consistent temperature, avoiding overheating.

 

Metering Instrumentation Directive

Legislation from the EU to define requirements for metering in certain situations, typically energy supply. The Directive has been implemented in the UK as Statutory Instrument 2016 No, 1153 – Weights & Measure, The Measuring Instruments Regulation 2016.

 

Notification Template

A template document issued by OPSS for completion by heat suppliers, to confirm the presence of a heat network and then usually every 4th year after that.