Heat networks are a centralised generation source that deliver heating, hot water and cooling to multiple buildings. There are a number of benefits for organisations to have a heat network including reducing energy generation costs, supporting local regeneration and cutting carbon emissions.
Organisations that have a heat network must provide the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) with detailed information about their networks every four years.
Heat decarbonisation is the next big challenge in meeting the UK Government’s aim of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. In 2020 changes were made to the Heat Network Metering and Billing Regulations to encourage more heat networks to decarbonise. These changes may impact organisations who have a heat network so they may now need to notify the OPSS, install metering into their buildings, or both. These changes and drive to increase transparency reflect the Government’s commitment to raise consumer protections for those on heat networks.
Work out if you are affected by the change in regulations
If you already notify the OPSS of your Heat Network Notification every four years, then you will need to continue to do so to stay compliant. We can help by completing and submitting your Heat Network Notification on your behalf every four years.
Yes, if you have a heat network and metering already in place, you must submit your heat networks notification to the OPSS every four years.
This notification must be provided on the day of or before the heat network becomes operational. A separate notification must be submitted for each heat network.
If your organisation has a heat network but does not currently have metering in place, you may find you need to install metering to comply with legislation.
As part of the changes to the regulations, the Government has introduced three building classes that split buildings into three categories, that define how organisations need to comply. These are:
- Viable class, buildings where meters are always installed. This applies to district heating and new buildings with communal heating. However, there are exceptions for new buildings with communal heating. Organisations must install meters into buildings which fall into this category.
- Open class, organisations under this class must assess whether they need to install metering. This applies to all new buildings connected to communal heating between the transitional period, that being November 2020 and 1 September 2022, (unless exempt), and all new buildings connected to communal heating after the end of the transitional period (unless exempt). Open class organisations that have previously submitted their Heat Network Notification, under the new regulations, may still need to reassess their heat network and renotify the OPSS.
- Exempt class, where meters and heat cost allocators do not need to be installed. This covers existing buildings, on either a district heat network or with communal heating, which do not fall into the above building classes and where it is presumed the assessment for cost-effectiveness under the Open class would be negative.
Following the change in regulations, organisations have only twelve months to identify the class of their buildings and the steps they need to take to comply. If an organisation’s building is Open class, they must assess if metering needs to be installed by 27 November 2021, and the installation must be completed by 1 September 2022.
If your organisation requires or has heat metering in place, you should charge your tenants based on their metered consumption, however if you are midway through a lease agreement you may not be able to. When your tenant’s agreement is then renewed or updated, you must legally bill your tenants for their metered consumption separate to any other tenant charges.
If you need support determining the scope of the metering in your building, our suite of metering support services are available to help you. Our expert energy consultants can assess your on-site metering capabilities, create a business case development to support the installation, run a tendering process to find the right agency for you, and provide an assessment of available vendors to ensure you are meeting your organisation’s metering requirements.
Penalties for non-compliance
Heat Network Notification support
With over 35 years’ of energy and sustainability consultancy experience, we can work with you to ensure you are compliant with the recent Heat Network Regulation changes by the deadline.
If you need support with your Heat Network Notification we can:
- Assess your heat network to understand whether you need to comply with the updated regulations
- Determine if your heat network requires metering in line with the new regulations
- Conduct site visits where applicable to understand the scope of your heat networks
- Complete and submit the Heat Network Notification on your behalf.
- Ensure you are compliant with Government regulations for heat networks
- Avoid penalties by complying with the changes in the time frame permitted
- Get an independent assessment of whether you need heat metering installed
- Relieve you of the time and resource needed to ensure you are compliant and submitting your Heat Network Notification on time
Heat Network Metering services
If you need support determining the scope of the metering in your building, our suite of metering support services are available to help you.
- We can conduct a Metering Site Audit of your buildings to assess and make recommendations for the best metering infrastructure for your operations
- Where new metering is needed, our Metering Business Case Development service will support you in gaining funding for the installation
- We can run the Metering Tender Service process to coordinate the metering procurement and find the right agency for you
- As part of our Vendor Selection Service provide an assessment of available meter vendors, and a recommendation for the best vendor option to meet your organisation’s metering needs
- If you are unmetered, understand if you need heat metering in line with the new regulations
- Optimise your metering strategy and infrastructure for your buildings type and size
- As an independent consultant, you can trust our metering tender and vendor selection services to source and recommend the right provider for your organisation
- If your organisation is metered, get expert advice on the efficacy of your existing heat network infrastructure performance
Heat Network Tenant Billing
If your organisation chooses to bill tenants, our suite of comprehensive Tenant Billing Management services are available to help you.
- Our outsourced Tenant Billing Management Service can deliver accurate and efficient estate and billing management, relieving you of the time it takes to create and validate bills, collect payment, debt escalation, manage accounts and reporting
- Our Tenant Billing Consultancy Services can help ensure the efficiency of your organisation’s meters, methodology, business process and heat network notification support
- Our Sigma Tenant Billing software can make it easier for you to accurately and efficiently apportion utility costs between tenants, cost centres or departments delivering transparent accountable billing
- Better understanding your customers’ energy consumption through accurate and timely data helping them to understand and reduce their utility overheads
- Provide fair and transparent billing, helping to give customers the opportunity to identify energy efficiency savings and cost reduction
- Through the installation of metering, we can help you recharge the tenant consumption of your heat network
- Gain an understanding of the effectiveness of your heat metering for your infrastructure
- Recoup meter installation costs through setting up tenant billing and recharging your tenants
- Ensure you are operating effective tenant billing by working with you to model and optimise your business processes across your estate, tariff management, credit control and debt collection
- Relieve your team of time and resources required to validate bills, bill tenants and collect payments
- Ensure your portfolio is billed correctly and recover costs on your behalf through bill validation, data accuracy and payment and debt management
- Ensure the accuracy, completeness, consistency and timeliness of your organisation’s and tenant’s data
Speak to a consultant
Learn how our Heat Network Notification services can help your organisation, call us on 01908 690018