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The spotlight is on heat networks in 2023: from understudy to centre stage

Nov 25, 2022

With more compliance, more costs, more heat networks – but more funding – 2023 heat networks will be taking centre stage next year. As the nights draw in, thermometers begin to drop and Christmas adverts take over the TV, Chirpy Heat takes a look ahead and see what next year holds for heat network operators, and what can be done in preparation.

January: Customers and Cost of Living

Things will get moving quickly in the new year, with heat network operators having to communicate and pass on any savings from the governments energy crises support package. Its complex but our recent blog will help. As part of this its critical that all heat tariffs are reviewed to avoid significant financial losses on portfolios that we have seen amount to £1m per annum.

February-April: Efficiency and Carbon Reduction

BEIS should be launching the next round of funding to improve existing heat networks. Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES) support 100% funding for optimisation reviews and 50% funding for capital works – it’s a huge opportunity to make improvements to reduce management and customer costs. But it requires some preparation – get in touch and we can help you secure the funding.

May-August: Coronation and Compliance

A big year for Charles and for heat network compliance! Operators will need to ensure that they are meeting existing regulations and preparing for new ones.

  • Existing regulation: The 4-yearly notification cycle of the Heat Network Metering and Billing Regulations (HNMBR) is coming around again for most heat network operators requiring an update of submissions to the OPSS by year end. The comparatively quieter summer months make an ideal time to ensure that heat network notifications are updated with correct data and new requirements.
  • Future Regulation: the Heat Network Market Framework (HNMF) will begin to take shape next year, before its likely introduction in 2024. A Regulation Readiness Review can help understand where you are now in terms of how your procedures compared to what will be required.

September-November: Rolling towards winter

The introduction of heat network zoning could see many begin to knock your door for new connections – this has significant implications for landlords and their customers so take some time to work through what this means. Some of the early schemes include Leeds Pipes, Bristol Heat Network, and Cardiff Town Heat Network.

December: End of year deadlines

Remember the OPSS notification is due by the end of 2023! And with energy prices still running at high or even higher levels scheme efficiency and getting tariffs right before the new year is even more important.

Heat networks in 2023 can be summarised in three words: opportunity, challenge and preparation. Please get in touch if you would like a chat about any of the above or have any other heat network enquiries – we are looking forward to supporting all of our clients in 2023.