Landlords beware – Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations

Their name may not inspire, but if you are a landlord of commercial or residential multi-let buildings where heating hot water or air cooling is provided centrally to individual units, and via a liquid, then you need to take note!


If you are such a landlord, you should already be complying the Regulations’ billing requirements. These came into force on 31 December 2014. Notably they require bills to be based on actual consumption, and to provide certain other details including the energy prices charged and the energy consumption comparison with previous years. Although this has not been spelt out, the indications are that those billing requirements override any contractual arrangements.


Next on the to-do list, you need to register with the National Measurement & Regulation Office (no, we hadn’t heard of them before either!), and to provide various details including the location, number and type of buildings, and any relevant meters in those buildings, together with some estimated total annual figures for that system. The deadline for that registration was originally 30 April 2015 but has been put back to 31 December 2015.


After that, you need to turn your attention to meters and temperature control devices. The installation of meters to measure consumption of heating cooling or hot water, together with temperature control devices, ostensibly kicks off from 31 December 2016. However from 18 December 2014 the obligation is triggered if an existing meter is being replaced. New meters must satisfy certain criteria including the accurate measurement of consumption and the memorising of that consumption.


There are certain exclusions, such as hotel rooms. There are also exemptions based on cost effectiveness (as measured against projected energy savings over a 10 year period) and technical feasibility (which is presumed unless rebutted).


Enforcement will no doubt predominantly be by way of a compliance notice. The National Measurement & Regulation Office can however also impose penalties and even bring criminal prosecutions.