Articles

  • June 2015
    A subject not to blow hot and cold on!


    Whether we like it or not new legislation is introduced all the time whether good, bad or indifferent.   Sometimes the change in law comes upon us without sufficient warning and can result in an inadvertent breach of regulations which could prove costly.

     

    A new set of Regulations has now been introduced called the Multi-lets Heating Regulations which are set out in the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014.   These do not sound particularly exciting reading, however they are of significant importance to Landlords.  They apply not only to commercial units but also to residential multi-let properties.

     

    The deadline for Landlords to register with the National Measurement Office is currently  the 31st December 2015.   The Landlord must detail the location, number and type of buildings and meters supplied by each communal heating and cooling system together with an estimated total annual figure for installed heating capacity.   

     

    The Landlord is further required to install individual meters (which are referred to as “heat cost allocators”) for each occupier of the multi-let building by 31st December 2016.   This applies for heating, cooling or hot water supplied for each tenant, and the Landlord must install temperature control devices in addition such as thermostats on radiators “unless it is not cost effective and technically feasible to do so”.    There is a detailed guide on the scope of the exceptions.  

     

    The objective of the obligations on the Landlord is so that a tenant in a multi-let building is billed according to their actual consumption so what they are charged is accurate.  Specific information must also be included such as energy prices and comparison with previous energy use.  

     

    There is no doubt that these Regulations will add to the Landlord’s costs in managing a multi-let building in the short term at least until the registration and individual metering has been completed.  Thereafter the costs will logically reduce.   The benefit for tenants is that they will be paying only for heating and cooling that they actually receive rather than potentially subsidising excess use of these services by other tenants of the multi-let building.   

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