The Energy Bill Relief Scheme Pass-through Requirement (Heat Suppliers) (England and Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2022 came into force on 01 November 2022 and requires that heat suppliers pass-on support to end users.
The Regulations also require all heat suppliers (whether they benefit from EBRS or not) to provide information to the Secretary of State or Scottish Ministers for the heat network(s) they operate. Specifically, heat suppliers are required to submit their name, business address and contact details in the Heat Networks Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) pass-through notification form.
This includes heat suppliers that have already submitted notifications to the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) under the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014.
Existing heat suppliers must submit this notification by 6 January 2023. Heat suppliers who begin operating a network on or after the 7 December must notify within 30 days of becoming operational. This includes if the network is new or has been purchased from another supplier. In this context, becoming operational refers to the first day a heat supplier supplies heating or hot water to consumers via a heat network.
Consequences of not submitting the required information by 06 January 2023
If a heat network supplier fails to submit the required information by 06 January 2023, then OPSS may issue an Information Notice to said entity. Heat suppliers will then, typically be given 10 working days to respond and confirm their status as a heat supplier. Extensions to provide this response can be requested but will not necessarily be granted.
Failure to respond to an Information Notice may result in OPSS issuing a Notice of Intent which will grant heat suppliers a final opportunity to become compliant by:
- Providing information to the OPSS clarifying whether they are operating as a heat supplier without providing notification.
- Notifying OPSS using the Heat Networks Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) Pass-through notification form on the OPSS website.
Should a heat supplier fail to respond to a Notice of Intent then further enforcement action may be taken and they may face a fine of up to £5,000.
It should be noted that heat suppliers may receive a Notice of Intent with no prior Information Notice. This situation will arise when OPSS has reasonable grounds to believe that an entity is a heat supplier but has not notified them via the notification form.
Further details regarding the regulations and the pass-through requirements can be found here:
Guidance on the pass-through requirements for energy price support provided to intermediaries - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Guidance regarding the pass-through requirements specifically in relation to heat networks can be found here:
Guidance on the Energy Bill Relief Scheme pass-through requirements for heat networks in the UK - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
If you would like to discuss the pass-through requirements and the requirement to register please get in touch with one of our Energy and commercial specialists Nathan Bradberry or James Crabtree.