We all knew it would come round quickly, but in the blink of an eye 1st September is upon us. When it was introduced in November 2020, the heat network metering regulations felt a long time away. But now the deadline is only a week away and failure to meet it means many in the sector are facing non-compliance.
The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulation (HNMBR) ‘duty to install’ puts a responsibility on heat network operators to install meters or heat cost allocators (HCAs) into schemes classed as ‘viable’ or ‘open’ where it is cost-effective to do so. BEIS published a cost-effectiveness tool to help with the assessments and there’s been a massive push over the last 12-18 months to understand the impact of the obligation.
The newly enforced Regulations are a significant undertaking for many in the social housing sector. We’ve blogged before about the Regulation deadlines and our thinking on the steps you need to take, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Many housing providers are only just beginning to get their heads round being heat network operators and what that means to their organisation in terms of compliance, resource, customer service, debt risk and funding. And this is only the first step – more regulations are on their way that will see the shift to being a fully-fledged energy supplier regulated by Ofgem. But it’s important to be compliant under the current regulations first.
If the words “compliance deadline” bring a wave of unease – breathe! We have worked with many in the sector with their metering compliance –and the key is to have a plan. From developing technical specifications and protocols for contractors, to explaining to customers what it means for them and advising on the install and commissioning itself. We know that a number of organisations will still be working through these stages as the deadline is reached.
If it looks like you might miss the deadline it’s crucial you notify BEIS as soon as possible if this is the situation you are facing. BEIS are encouraging active engagement from heat suppliers as soon as possible if they will not meet the deadline.
- Be ready with a plan to demonstrate your pathway to compliance.
- Be honest with how far you’ve already got.
- Be organised in the evidence you can provide.
Remember, you are not alone. Chirpy has already helped clients struggling with their compliance obligations and we can help you too. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org: we can talk through your options with you, help you develop a plan and engage with BEIS.
Regulation is never simple. Compliance should be.