The regulations cover every community and district heating system across the UK and require the ‘heat supplier’, which is the person or body ultimately responsible for supplying and charging the ‘final customer’ (who consumes the heat), to meet three key mandatory requirements, which are all already in place:
The duty to notify
Since December 2015, it has been mandatory for heat suppliers to inform BEIS about the location of any district heat network or communal heating scheme – as well as its capacity and supply figures. 17,000 heat suppliers have complied with this requirement, but many have failed to do so and must register retrospectively as a matter of urgency. Registrations must be updated every four years.
The duty to meter
It is mandatory to install point of entry, or ‘bulk’ meters (which record the amount of heat delivered into the property) for buildings with one or more customers connected to a district heat network. Those heat suppliers who haven’t already complied must have plans in place to comply within a reasonable timescale.
Although retrofitting final customer meters to existing heat schemes is not yet compulsory (pending the introduction of the viability tool), it is mandatory for new builds and most buildings undergoing major renovation. If these meters are not feasible, the viability of heat cost allocators must be considered.
The duty to bill
End customers must be billed using actual meter readings at least once a year, or quarterly where electronic billing is used. Bills must contain pricing and consumption data and offer information on improving energy efficiency.