District heating specialist Switch2 Energy has published the Essential Guide to the Heat Network Regulations . This explains recent legislation updates and the urgent steps heat suppliers must take to gain compliance and stem huge energy losses on thousands of unmetered homes.
The clock is ticking on the 27 November 2021 deadline for heat network suppliers to assess whether it will be compulsory to retrofit final customer meters in around 170,000 unmetered homes on their networks.
Where metering is proved viable, they have less than a year (by 1 September 2022) to complete installations, which can deliver huge cost and carbon savings of 35 to 50%.
The free guide explains the latest regulatory changes and what heat suppliers, such as landlords and developers, need to do to achieve compliance and avoid criminal and civic penalties.
The most significant legislative change is a duty to fit final customer meters on existing un-metered ‘open class’ buildings, wherever this is proved viable. Where the feasibility tool assessment proves viability, heat network owners must then retrofit metering systems or heat cost allocators in individual homes, which is likely to involve the installation of smart heat metering systems.
It is already mandatory for new build projects and most buildings undergoing major refurbishment to fit final customer meters. It is also compulsory for all heat networks to install point of entry meters, which record the amount of heat delivered into the building.
The regulations also stipulates that actual meter readings, rather than estimates, must be used to bill customers at least one a year, and that billing information must be transparent and informative. There are also recurring duties for heat suppliers to update the registration of the heat network every four years.
The legislation covers all of the 1,750 community and district heating systems – serving around 500,000 homes across the country – and is key to the government’s heat decarbonisation strategy.
Ian Allan, Head of Market Strategy for Switch2 said: “It is vital that heat suppliers understand the updated regulations and take urgent action to ensure they are fully compliant. There’s still time to act and our S2 Meter2Billservice makes the compliance process easy.
“It’s not just a matter of ticking the regulatory boxes, those sites that install final customer meters have an opportunity to achieve significant cost (helping reduce fuel poverty) and carbon reduction. Our experience shows that on unmetered heat networks where customer costs are estimated, the installation of pay-as-you-go smart meters results in energy savings of 35 to 50%.”