The Government has consulted on The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 and SHiP asked for member input as to whether to put forward a case to include supported housing as an exempt category to the Regulations. The closing date was the 24th January 2020 and here is our response.
The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014
The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 as set requirements for heat suppliers to install and maintain heat metering devices as well as minimum requirements for billing and billing information. Metering devices include heating, cooling, and hot water meters as well as heat cost allocators on ​individual radiators. In some circumstances, the obligation to install meters or heat cost allocators is subject to being technically feasible and cost-effective. Final customer meters and heat cost allocators enable greater transparency of consumption and charging as well as give greater control over energy use and cost. This also avoids cross subsidisation of high energy users by low energy consumers on the same network.
For the purposes of domestic heat supply, a user is considered a final customer where they occupy a partitioned private space which is intended to be used as a domestic dwelling and has the following:
- kitchen (including cooking and food preparation facilities)
Users who do not have all of these facilities such as those in houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs) - where facilities such as cooking are shared - are not considered to be customers under the Regulations. Sheltered and social housing is included in the regulations.
The Government are consulting on amending the Regulations to introduce three building classes in line with guidelines published by the European Commission to minimise the administrative burden and cost on businesses of the cost-effectiveness assessment. They are consulting on the following definitions
- 'Viable' building class, where meters are always installed,
- 'Exempt' class, where meters/heat cost allocators do not need to be installed, and
- 'Open' class, where the requirement to install metering devices is subject to a positive outcome of the cost-effectiveness assessment. We are further consulting on updating the cost-effectiveness methodology and associated tool to ensure consistency with the minimum requirements of the Directive and reduce burden on business.