As if you didn’t already have enough to think about , if you are a landlord ( residential or commercial) of a multi- let building you should be aware that there has been a recent change to legislation that affects all district heating, communal heating and cooling networks in the UK which is causing a shockwave throughout the property industry. Articles 9, 10,11 and 13 of the EU Efficiency Directive 2012 set out a number of requirements regarding metering and billing on all new and existing heating and cooling systems which have been implemented in the UK through the Heat Network ( Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 which came into force on 18th December 2014.
All landlords of multi-let buildings who operate communal central heating systems are considered to be suppliers of heating, cooling or hot water and must comply with the new Regulations.
The introduction of the Regulations is staggered. The key deadlines being as follows :
- By 30 April 2015 ( and then at least every 4 years) a supplier must notify the National Measurement Office (NMO) of the communal heating system and provide details of its location, the number and types of buildings it supplies, number of customers along with estimates for the yearly heating capacity, heat generated and heat supplied.
- From 31 December 2014 where meters/heat cost allocators have been installed, suppliers must ensure that bills and billing information for the consumption of heating, cooling or hot water by a final customer are accurate and based on actual consumption. The customer should get a bill at least once a year and potentially quarterly. If the cost to provide this information exceeds £70.00 a year then the supplier will be relieved from this obligation.
- From 31 December 2016 suppliers must :
- Install individual meters in buildings where there is more than one final customer and the building is supplied by a communal heating system to measure consumption by each final customer. This includes existing and new systems.
- If meters cannot be installed because it would not be cost effective or technically possible the supplier must install heat cost allocators and thermostatic radiator valves on each radiator in order to calculate and enable each final customer to control its consumption. Hot water meters must also be installed.
- If the installation of individual meters or heat cost allocators cannot be achieved ,the supplier must use alternative methods of calculating charges for the supply of heating and hot water.
- A feasibility study must be completed by 31 December 2016. The Department of Energy and Climate Change has produced a toolkit to assist on the assessment of cost and technical feasibility.
A breach of the Regulations could result in a fine of up to £5000 per offence plus daily penalties of £500 until the breach is remedied. No person will be prosecuted prior to 30 April 2015.
The government’s best estimate of the number of dwellings connected to such heating networks was 400,000 homes but the true figure is likely to be higher.
Do you have multi let buildings ? If so you need to know about these Regulations. The heat is on. If you need further information please contact me by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning me on 0141 552 3422 and I will be happy to help.