Heat in buildings is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and the de-carbonisation of heat will be a critical part of the journey to meeting the UK’s Net Zero Carbon target. One policy area which has been under review by the UK government is the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations.

The Heat Networks (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 came into force on 18th December 2014 under the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. It affects all businesses within the UK that supply and charge for heating, cooling or hot water to a final customer through communal heating or a district heating network (heat suppliers) including multi tenanted buildings with a shared heating and cooling system.

The regulations seek to increase the metering, monitoring and accurate billing of heat use in communal and district heat networks with the aim of facilitating the identification of opportunities for energy savings and efficiency improvements. Long awaited changes to these regulations are due to come into force on 27 November 2020 which will see the requirement for many heat suppliers to undertake cost effectiveness evaluations for the installation of heat meters by 27 November 2021.

The amendments introduce 3 building classes – viable, exempt and open class. Those in the viable category will have a mandatory requirement for heat meters to be installed; those in the exempt class, as the name suggests, will be exempt from installing heat meters and undertaking the cost effectiveness evaluation; and those in the open class will be required to undertake the cost effectiveness evaluation.

Where this evaluation deems the installation of heat meters to be cost effective, heat suppliers will be required to install the meters by 1 September 2022. Further guidance is due to be released on 27 November 2020.

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