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Heat Network Regulations 2014: The heat is still on for commercial landlords
With the first phase of the Heat Network Regulations 2014 – to submit notification by 31 December 2015 – now complete, many UK landlords will heave a sigh of relief that they have complied on time. With regard to undertaking the feasibility studies for heat meters (the second phase), what happens next is a waiting game. The government is rewriting the regulations with an announcement expected around June/July 2016.
For those with heat meters already installed there are now legal obligations that must be met. One thing made evident amongst some our clients was the lack of awareness that their properties even contained heat meters. In most cases this was due to the installation taking place under a previous landlord and it never being brought to their attention on handover. No doubt there will be others out there completely oblivious to their legal obligations and at risk of being fined.
To avoid falling foul of the current legal requirements around existing heat meters we have provided some further pointers below.
Legal requirement to provide accurate billing
Under the Heat Network Regulations 2014 there is a legal requirement to provide accurate billing to tenants where heat meters are already installed (if cost effective and technically feasible to do so) with some very specific criteria that the billing information must meet. It is therefore critical that an appropriate and accurate recharging methodology is put in place to reflect each tenant’s actual usage with recharges being undertaken on a regular basis.
Legal requirement to maintain meters
Many of our landlord clients were also unaware of the legal requirement under this legislation to not only use the meters, but to maintain them. We have worked on numerous buildings with heat meters and almost all of them have at some point had issues. Regular checks are therefore crucial to ensure they are in proper working order. Incorrectly installed or operating meters does not exempt landlords from recharging tenants, the meters need to be put back into good working order and then used for providing accurate billing.
Benefits of heat meters: It's not all bad!
Alongside the legal requirements, there are a number of benefits to landlords using heat meters for billing:
1. Fair and equitable recharges: Tenants are only paying for the heating and cooling they actually use.
2. Increase in recovery of direct costs form tenants: Keeping the service charge costs lower.
3. Allows for the apportionment of all heating and cooling charges whether in-hours or out-of-hours: Reducing issues with difficult out-of-hours usage calculations, tenant billing queries and unexpected service charge audits, as charges are based on actual data.
4. Provides detailed data on heating and cooling patterns in the building: Presenting opportunities for identifying anomalies and acting on these to reduce energy consumption.
So, how can Carbon2018 help?
If any of your buildings have heat meters that require fixing or maintaining, we have a team of metering technicians who can undertake the necessary checks to confirm whether the meters are correctly installed and operating, diagnose any problems and undertake the required remedial works.
We are also specialists in the development of heating and cooling recharging methodologies and can undertake the ongoing apportionments on your behalf providing an independent solution that some tenants may prefer. We have a lot of experience in dealing with complex buildings including mixed use premises (for example complexes including hotels, restaurants, residential apartments, offices etc.), onsite generation, out-of-hours usage and intricate heating systems.
For further information please contact:
Phone: 01252 560 379