Do you supply heat to consumers or to small businesses with a maximum connection of 100 Kilowatt? And do you manage 1 or more heat grids (district or block heating)? You must adhere to the Dutch Heat Act (Warmtewet).
Registration and permit
As a heat supplier you have to:
- Register your heat grid (in Dutch) with the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). This does not apply to landlords and homeowners' associations.
- Apply for a permit from ACM to supply heat (in Dutch). You do not need a permit if you supply to at most 10 customers ánd you supply less than 10,000 gigajoules per year.
- You should also enter an agreement with your clients.
- Make sure you comply with the maximum rates set by ACM.
You can read more on your obligations on the ACM's website (in Dutch)
Maximum tariffs for small consumers
You can never have your customers pay more than the maximum rate for:
- heating and hot tap water
- heating only
- hot tap water
- lower temperature warm tap water
- measuring consumption (metering tariff)
- use of a delivery set
- cooling via the heat grid, cooling in heat and cold storage
- supplying lower temperature heat
- connecting or disconnecting from the grid
The ACM sets the maximum tariffs each year and monitors if suppliers keep to these rates.
Heating agreement and invoice
As the supplier, you must enter into an agreement with your customers. This also applies if you do need a permit. You must also send you customers an invoice at least once a year. The invoice must state exactly what they must pay and for which services and/or products.
Reimbursement for disruptions
If the supplying of heat is disrupted, your customers can be entitled to a reimbursement. Therefore you should keep records of all disruptions, so you know exactly when and how much you need to reimburse your customers for disruptions.
Measuring heat consumption
You must keep to the rules for measuring the heat consumption of you customers. There are 3 metering methods you can use:
- an individual heat meter
- a heat cost allocator
- a cost distribution system
The Heat Act describes rules on disconnecting customers from the heating grid (in Dutch). Your customers can decide themselves if they wish to be disconnected. For instance because they want to install a heat pump. You can only deny this for technical reasons, or if it has adverse impact on other customers. In a number of situations you can disconnect a customer, such as fraud, an unsafe installation, the end of the agreement, or if your customer fails to pay.
Disagreements with customers
If you are involved in a disagreement, you may approach a disputes committee. All heat suppliers must be registered with an independent Consumer Complaints Board. A disputes committee or complaints board offers advice, mediates, and presents a (binding) decision.