** STOP PRESS** Energy Bills Discount Scheme – Registering Heat Networks
Bulk upload template published (July 2023).
The Government (DESNZ) has published the bulk upload template for the Energy Bills Discount Scheme heat network support. Heat suppliers with more than 10 heat networks can now make a single application for them. This will make the process of registration easier for landlords with larger numbers because they can download the excel template, fill it in and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with a single signed Director’s declaration letter.
Once a bulk upload application has been received, heat suppliers will receive an email for each heat network included in the application to confirm that it has been received. If the application is then successful, heat suppliers will receive individual qualifying heat supplier certificates for each eligible heat network.
Q. How does the bulk upload template work?
A. For Heat suppliers with more than 10 heat networks, they can download the bulk upload template, fill it in and send to email@example.com with a signed Director’s declaration letter. Applicants will need about 30 minutes to complete this form. Importantly, it must be completed in one session; you cannot save the form and return to it later. Applicants are advised to have all the required information before they start completing the template (excel spreadsheet).
Q. What guidance has the Government published on EBDS and bulk uploads?
A. The Government has published guidance on applying for the EBDS that now includes information on the bulk upload template. This includes details of what information will be required so that applicants can have it ready when they start their application.
The guidance also explains which networks are eligible for support and how suppliers need to pass on the discounts to their customers.
Q. Has the deadline for registration been extended for bulk uploads?
A. NO! All heat networks need to be registered by 25th July 2023.
Q. What is the Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS)?
A. It is a Government scheme for businesses, charities, and the public sector to ensure all eligible UK businesses and other non-domestic energy users will receive a discount on commercial energy prices from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024. This scheme replaces the Energy Bill Reduction Scheme (EBRS) and will also protect domestic customers on heat networks. Operators, including social landlords, need to notify customers that they are in receipt of the benefit. Fines for non-compliance will be up to £5,000 per heat network.
Heat suppliers will be eligible for the discount if their heat network:
- Supplies heating or hot water to a building or persons in that building
- Is supplied by a licenced energy supplier
- Supplies at least one domestic customer
- Uses gas or electricity for producing heat
All eligible heat networks will receive the baseline level of support under the EBDS as a minimum but a higher level of support will be available to heat networks with domestic end consumers.
This Q&A explains what landlords with heat networks need to do to ensure their residents on heat networks benefit from the Government’s help with energy bills.
Q. What landlords with heat networks need to do now
A. They must register all heat networks – regardless of whether they will benefit from the EBDS or not – this is a legal requirement. This includes district or communal, metered, or unmetered networks. Operators with multiple networks need to apply, via an online portal, for each eligible network they supply. It is estimated it takes 30 minutes to enter each heat network into the portal. For those with many schemes, a bulk upload function is being developed, but this will not be ready until very close to the 25th July deadline. All heat suppliers should apply as soon as possible to ensure that discounts can be passed onto consumers as quickly as possible.
The portal will remain open all year so that any new heat networks can be added and benefit from the discount.
Q. What is the deadline for registration?
A. All heat networks need to be registered by 25th July 2023.
Q. Are their penalties for non-compliance?
A. Yes. Eligible heat suppliers who do not apply before 25 July 2023 may be subject to enforcement, with fines up to £5,000 per heat network.
Q. What does Government want landlords to do?
A. Social landlords with heat networks must ensure that they have registered all their networks through the EBDS Heat Network application portal.
Q. What information do landlords with heat networks need to provide
A. They need to provide the following:
- Details of the heat supplier: registered name, contact details, address, company registration number (if they have one)Details of the individual completing the application: name, contact details.
- Details of each heat network: name, postcode of the heat network’s primary energy centre, the type of energy used to power the heat network (gas, electricity, or both).
- Details of the person(s) providing energy to the applicant: name, whether that person is a licensed supplier, details of any intermediaries if bills are not paid directly to an energy supplier, the gas or electricity meter point numbers (MPRN or MPAN) associated with the property, found on bills from suppliers - this is not the same as meter readings or meter serial numbers, whether your meters provide anything else other than heat generation
Q. What do landlords with heat networks that benefit from EBDS also need to do
A. Landlords must inform customers on those heat networks that they are in receipt of the benefit.
Q. Where can social landlords find out more?
A. The Government has published the following guidance:
- EBDS requirements for heat networks
- EBDS Press Notice 9 January 2023
- Sign up for Government Heat Networks updates
NHMF is grateful for the assistance of Rachael Mills, Director & Co-Founder, Chirpy Heat in preparing this briefing.