The Heat Network Regulations 2015 impose new obligations on “heat suppliers”, defined as anybody who supplies and charges for the supply of heating, cooling or hot water through either a district heat network or a communal heating system.
The Regulations apply to both commercial and residential multi-let buildings and, if applicable, will affect landlords in three principal ways:
- There is an obligation to provide details of the heating system/network to the National Measurement Office by no later than 31 December 2015. This information includes the nature and type of the buildings supplied by the heating system/network, the number of customers supplied, and the number and types of meters installed. These details must be updated every four years.
- There is a duty to install meters and other measuring devices to monitor consumption by 31 December 2016 unless it would not be technically feasible or cost-effective to do so. This assessment also has to be repeated every four years.
- Invoices issued for heating systems/networks must accurately measure, memorise and display the actual consumption by the customer. It is also important to note that, although this may not correspond with a typical service charge provision, the Regulations will override any contradictory provisions in the subsisting leases.
Sanctions for non-compliance are likely to include compliance notices or enforcement undertakings and financial penalties.