What are the Heat Networks (Metering & Billing) Regulations?
The Heat Networks (Metering & Billing) Regulations – ‘HNMBR’ – were introduced in 2014 to drive energy efficiency and carbon reduction across heat networks which, as they represent a relatively small proportion of UK heating systems, previously went largely unregulated.
In short, the regulations promote efficiency improvements through the installation of consumer-level metering devices – i.e. leaning on the axiom that “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” – whilst also facilitating clearer and more accurate billing for end-users.
Previously, in the first incarnation of the regulations, operators of heat networks were simply required to notify the regulator (the Office for Products & Safety Standards, ‘OPSS’) of any and all heat networks under their control.
Now, since an update of the Regulations in November 2020, the evolving requirements have placed additional actions on operators of heat networks, with potentially significant financial implications for heat meter installations over the next 18 months.
What action is required and by when?
The updated HNMBR requirements essentially comprise 3 main elements, which are in addition to the ongoing requirement to complete an updated HMNBR Notification of all heat networks under an operator’s control every 4 years.
The additional actions relate to classifying buildings that contain heat networks, undertaking cost effectiveness assessments for the installation of heat meters / cost allocators, and then the installation for those meters that are deemed suitable.
As an overview:
• 27 November 2021: Deadline to define building classes – essentially determining whether properties fall into one of the following 3 classes: Viable, Open, or Exempt.
• 27 November 2021: Deadline to complete ‘cost effectiveness’ assessments – this will require building-specific investigations, using proprietary tools produced by BEIS / OPSS, as to whether the installation of heat meters or cost allocators is cost effective for those buildings that are in scope, based on their classification.
• 1 September 2022: Deadline for the installation of heat meters / cost allocators that have been identified as being cost effective.
Updated notifications to the regulator will also be required, detailing building classifications and metering installations.
Clearly, depending on the outcome of cost effectiveness tests, the financial implications for landlords and property managers may be highly significant, and will need to be built into budgets for 2022 in good time.
How can ETS help?
ETS keeps fully abreast of legislative developments that affect our clients’ businesses.
We have supported our clients through the first iterations of the HNMBR and will continue to do so across all aspects of the updated regulations – from building classification and cost effectiveness tests, to turnkey specification, tender and project management of required heat meter installation across our clients’ portfolios.
If you or your colleagues want to know what the updates to the regulations mean for your business or property portfolio, we would be happy to talk to you about your specific circumstances and how we can assist.
Our expert team at ETS are always here to help; you can contact us by calling 0117 205 0542 or drop us an email at email@example.com.