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The sector is only days away from a significant compliance deadline.

Nov 18, 2021

By the 27th of November of this year all housing providers must have completed an assessment of all their unmetered heat networks to assess whether it is financially feasible to install heat metering equipment or heat cost allocators.

Social housing providers are one of the largest groups of heat network managers in the UK and many don’t know that the deadline is only days away.

Under the November 2020 update to Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations (HNMBR), all heat network operators must complete the cost effectiveness assessment for unmetered heat networks by 27th November 2021, to determine whether they require individual meters installed.   They then have until 1st September 2022 to specify, procure and install the metering equipment, a major challenge in such a tight timescale.

In most scenarios, a heat network is simply a boiler that provides heating and often hot water to more than one dwelling or building. This can be a small sheltered or supported housing scheme right through to a city-wide district scheme, such as ones located in Sheffield and Nottingham. Typically housing providers have up to 10% of their homes on some kind of heat network.

The HNMBR apply to all heat networks.  The pathway to compliance is knowing the stock you have and how to meet the regulations in the most cost-effective way. Understandably metering and billing providers are keen to install more meters, so it is essential that housing providers take control of the assessment process and make the best decisions for their organisation and customers.

If housing providers do not meet the deadline, or do not have a plan in place to complete the assessment and the scheme notification, they will not be compliant with the regulations. The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is now actively chasing housing providers who are currently non-compliant, with potentially unlimited fines for those that cannot swiftly rectify their outstanding obligations.

If you want to know more about meeting your HNMBR obligations or what your next steps should be, check out or get in touch with the Chirpy Heat team at

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