The government proposes amendments to heat metering and billing, its response sets out the new requirements for heat suppliers, and the changes made to the proposals in response to feedback. These include:
- the length of the period for heat suppliers to implement the requirements to 21 months
- updating the cost effectiveness methodology and associated tool to allow heat suppliers to more accurately reflect estimated savings and costs for their buildings
- modifying the building classes to take account of cost and benefit considerations for specific types of housing and properties
The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 were laid in parliament on 6 November 2020 and come into force on 27 November 2020.
The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) will then publish:
- detailed guidance about the requirements and the compliance and notification timelines
- updated notification template and cost-effectiveness assessment tool
- information about planned events to support heat suppliers
Also relevant to heat suppliers is wider work to protect consumers and grow the market for heat networks – the next step in government plans to reach net zero emissions by 2050. It launched the Heat Networks Market Framework consultation in February 2020, which closed on 1 June 2020. The government response to this consultation will be published later this year.
Detail of feedback received
We received 54 responses to this consultation, from a range of stakeholders including: local authorities, social and other housing providers, metering and other businesses, trade associations, property management companies, bodies representing consumers, and individuals.
The responses were broadly positive, but raised concerns relating to:
- the proposed 6-month period for implementing the requirements
- the impact of metering and billing requirements on specific types of housing and vulnerable customers
- the new cost-effectiveness assessment tool