District Heating Networks in England and Wales: The evolving regulatory and contractual regimes
Produced in partnership with Sandy Abrahams of Lux Nova Partners
District Heating Networks in England and Wales: The evolving regulatory and contractual regimes

The following Energy practice note Produced in partnership with Sandy Abrahams of Lux Nova Partners provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • District Heating Networks in England and Wales: The evolving regulatory and contractual regimes
  • District Heating Networks
  • Regulation of district heating
  • The Metering and Billing Regulations
  • Application of the Metering and Billing Regulations
  • Obligation to notify details of qualifying systems
  • Obligation to install heat meters and heat cost allocators or heat cost allocators and thermostatic radiator valves
  • Obligation to issue compliant bills for heat
  • Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
  • Voluntary standards
  • More...

District Heating Networks

In the UK, District Heating Networks (DHN) provide heating to multiple customers within a building (sometimes referred to as communal heating) or a number of buildings (referred to as district heating) using a common heat generation source(s) and a common heat distribution network of pipes and equipment. The heat is provided in the form of hot water (rarely this is steam but increasingly systems are moving towards circulating lower temperature, ‘ambient’ warmth). Typically, where a DHN spans multiple buildings, heat exchangers are used to hydraulically separate a central system from local, building systems, allowing different pressures and rates of circulation and easier control of temperatures (and ownership) in local buildings.

The regulatory regime applicable to DHN is currently limited, notwithstanding that DHN schemes tend to be physical and commercial monopolies in relation to the heat that they provide, with customers rarely having any choice in relation to their district heating provider. Gradually, various mechanisms for governance are being introduced by those putting together such schemes, including through the voluntary Heat Trust scheme. In addition, the first heat specific regulation came in as a result of EU regulation. More recently however, the Competition Markets Authority (CMA) investigation (see further below) is paving the way to further regulation in England and Wales, with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) now working on

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