District heating systems work by delivering heat for both space heating and water heating needs through a network of insulated underground pipelines which is then passed onto buildings. Energy in the form of heat is produced and delivered through the district heating network. This usage is then metered at each building. District heating networks can be driven by all manner of heating. As the pipes are underground, they are less likely to be affected by any storms. If there is a power outage, heat can still be delivered to your home.

Under the legislation, the CRU will do the following:

  • Ensure final customers are provided with competitively priced meters that accurately reflect their actual energy consumption.
  • Develop guidelines to determine technical feasibility and cost effectiveness of metering/cost allocation.
  • Develop and publish national rules on allocation of cost of heating and cooling and domestic hot water in multi-apartment/multi-purpose buildings.
  • Ensure transparency and accuracy of accounting for individual consumption.
  • Develop guidelines on circumstances in which it may be cost efficient to replace existing meters and heat cost allocators which are not remotely readable.
  • Develop guidelines which ensure that billing and consumption information is reliable, accurate and based on actual consumption.
  • Develop minimum requirements for provision of information on customers’ bills.
  • Ensure that customers are offered the option of electronic billing and flexible payment arrangements.
  • Ensure that customers receive their bills and billing information free of charge and that customers have access to their consumption data in an appropriate way.
  • Provide a dispute and customer complaint resolution service and provide an annual report to the Minister regarding complaints.

The CRU is now developing a regulatory framework for the sector and will publicly consult on this in due course.

Separately, under S.I. 350 of 2022, the CRU must ensure that final consumers of district heating are provided with information on the energy performance and the share of renewable energy used in their district heating and cooling system. This may be made available on a final consumer’s bill or on the supplier’s website, and it must also be made available, on request, from the supplier.

The CRU will also require district heating suppliers to register with the CRU and you can find the details of the registration process for suppliers on our website here.

For more information, or if you have any queries, please contact the CRU’s District Heating team at districtheating@cru.ie