Teal blue graphic

Are you complying with the Heat (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014?

If you supply and charge customers for the supply of heating, cooling or hot water, then you will be bound by obligations imposed by the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 (the Regulations). The supply could be through a central source in a building occupied by more than one customer (known as communal heating) or through a district heat network (DHN).

Regulation 3 obliges heat suppliers to provide notification to the Secretary of State of any DHN or communal heating system. The deadline for submitting notifications was 31 December 2015. 

In this article we look at the consequences of non-compliance and the continuing notification obligations of heat suppliers.

What if you failed to comply?

Heat suppliers who failed to submit a notification by the deadline of 31 December 2015 have committed an offence and could be liable for a fine. Failure to pay the fine could result in criminal proceedings.

What do you need to do now?

You should submit a notification to the Secretary of State as soon as is feasibly possible.

What needs to be in the notification?

A notification must include the following:

  • The name and address of the heat supplier;
  • The location of the DHN or communal heating system;
  • The estimated total for that DHN or communal heating system, per calendar year, of installed heating capacity, heat generated and heat supplied;
  • The number and type of buildings supplied by the DHN or communal heating system;
  • The number and type of meters or heat cost allocators installed in any buildings supplied by the DHN or communal heating system;
  • The number of final customers supplied by the DHN or communal heating system. It should be noted that a heat supplier cannot be its own final customer. Therefore, if a heat supplier uses the heat that it supplies, only building occupants that are separate legal entities from the heat supplier should be counted as final customers;
  • Any analysis as to cost effectiveness or technical feasibility that has been carried out pursuant to the Regulations and the results of that analysis together with details of any meters or heat cost allocators which have been installed as a result;
  • The expected frequency and content of billing information provided by the heat supplier to the final customers; and
  • Any other information reasonably required by the Secretary of State (or the Scottish Ministers), or any person suitable to act on behalf of the Secretary of State or the Scottish Ministers, for the purpose of determining whether the heat supplier has complied with its duties under the Regulations.

To submit a notification, the heat supplier must complete a notification template which is available here. Heat suppliers will need to choose between single network templates or multiple network templates dependent on how assessments are made (eg making assessments to networks individually or collating the data in bulk). 

Future compliance

Heat suppliers must submit a notification in respect of any DHNs or communal heating systems which commence operation after 31 December 2015, on or before the date of first operation.

Heat suppliers are under a duty to submit an updated notification every four years.

Once they have complied with the duty to notify, heat suppliers cannot sit back. They must comply with further obligations in the Regulations, in relation to individual metering and the provision of bills and billing information, by 31 December 2016. 

Contributor: Alexandra Holsgrove Jones

This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at January 2016. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions on www.TLTsolicitors.com

Insights & events View all