Workshop with BEIS on Implication of Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations.
This little known regulation has been in force since 2014 and is part of EED (Energy Efficiency Directive). The policy intention is to give tenants who pay landlords for heat or cooling more control, and better incentives, to improve efficiency either through investment or behaviour by ensuring that they are billed for what they use. The objective is to address the kind of perverse incentives that stop tenants from improving the efficiency of the building they occupy because the landlord will just bill them on the basis of area occupied rather than what they use. Organisations in scope should have notified BEIS by December 2015.
Why does it matter to data centre operators? There is a potential compliance issue because the Regulations require companies providing heat or cooling to customers or end users within a single building and/or to multiple buildings (eg on a campus) to be able to meter that provision and bill it accurately. While data centres rarely sell heat to external heat networks, many operators provide cooling. Complex criteria apply so it can be tricky to establish whether or not a data centre operation is obliged under the regulation, which is likely to depend on the exact configuration of the cooling system and the number of customers. However, for sites in scope there is a requirement to meter and consequent changes in contractual arrangements that could be very problematic. It is clear that the regulation was devised without data centres in mind so we are in dialogue with BEIS to establish whether a more pragmatic approach might be applicable in this instance. The relevant BEIS officials have recently toured a data centre and now have a better understanding of how the facility works. At the workshop we will discuss how a variety of cooling configurations are handled under the legislation so that operators can leave with a clearer understanding of whether they are affected or not.
We will also use the session to update the provisional briefing note that we drafted in December. In the meantime, please use this briefing for further information or get in touch with Emma.firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to attend the meeting on the 19th January please click here to register.