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CP1 Heat networks: Code of Practice for the UK (2020) (pdf)
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CP1 Heat networks: Code of Practice for the UK (2020) (pdf)

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Please note that a new edition of Heat networks: Code of Practice for the UK is scheduled for publication in 2025, the result of a collaboration between CIBSE and the UK Government Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, and will also be free to all.

The second edition, available for download using the above link, provided a significant update to the 2015 version.

The previous edition had been highly successful in establishing minimum standards to improve the quality of district heating projects from concept through to operation; it has also had a strong influence on the procurement of heat networks, and underpins much of the Heat Networks Delivery Unit and Heat Networks Investment Project work done by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

However, it was always recognised that the Code of Practice would need to be updated at intervals to reflect new experience and understanding, feedback from the industry, changes in regulation and results from research projects. Probably the most important update has been to make compliance with CP1 easier to verify and check.

A series of fully integrated checklists now presents a more structured and robust toolkit for checking compliance with the Code of Practice. It is hoped that this publication will support the development of a wider heat networks quality assurance scheme, ultimately contributing to the regulation and decarbonisation of the heat sector.

This second edition, however, remains a work in progress on a longer journey for the heat networks sector. There is a clear need to gather a more detailed evidence base, and much more work is needed to develop further guidance and verification in the long term. Having said that, the publication of this second edition is a very significant step forward and aims to take the heat network sector to the next level.

The Excel CP1 Checklist provided along with the publication can be downloaded here.

Watch the publication launch webinar

CIBSE Training has also created an updated course to provide you with compliance information and an overview of the new CP1 applications

Find out more

This publication is now available in PDF format only.


Part A: Understanding and using this Code

  • A1 Introduction
    • A1.1 Overall purpose
    • A1.2 The updated Code of Practice
    • A1.3 The structure of the Code of Practice
  • A2 Scope
    • A2.1 What is a heat network?
    • A2.2 Central plant
    • A2.3 District cooling
    • A2.4 Fourth and fifth generation heat networks
  • A3 Applications for heat networks: challenges and opportunities
    • A3.1 New-build applications
    • A3.2 Retrofit applications
    • A3.3 Mixed developments of new and existing
  • A4 Key themes of the Code of Practice
    • (A) Correct sizing of plant and network
    • (B) Achieving low network heat losses
    • (C) Achieving consistently low return temperatures and optimising flow temperatures
    • (D) Use of variable flow control principles
    • (E) Optimising the use of low-carbon heat sources to supply the network
    • (F) Delivery of a safe, high-quality scheme where risks are managed and environmental impacts controlled
    • (G) Providing customers with affordable heat and a reliable service
  • A5 Checking compliance
    • A5.1 Key outputs and client checklists
    • A5.2 How to use the checklists
    • A5.3 Measuring performance
  • A6 Responsibilities

Part B: The requirements

  • Stage 1: Preparation and briefing
  • Stage 2: Feasibility
  • Stage 3: Design
  • Stage 4: Construction and installation
  • Stage 5: Commissioning
  • Stage 6: Operation and maintenance
  • Stage 7: Customer satisfaction and obligation

Annex A: Glossary of terms and abbreviations

Annex B: Example commissioning procedure to ensure design return temperatures are achieved in dwellings

Annex C: Measuring performance

Annex D: Pipe sizing worked example

Annex E: Recommended water quality parameters for heat networks

Annex F: Ambient temperature heat networks

Annex G: Guidance on the use of SAP modelling of heat networks

Annex H: Guidance on types of building connections and internal heating systems for dwellings

Annex I: Guidance on achieving an energy-efficient heat network

Annex J: Legislation

Annex K: References and further reading

Authors: Phil Jones, Paul Woods and Martin Crane

Steering Committee members: Professor Phil Jones (formerly chair of the CIBSE CHP and DH Group/BESA HIU Committee) (chair), George Robinson (HNDU Investment and Finance, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Graham Wenden (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Ian Allan (Switch2 Energy Ltd), Ali Bahar (Metropolitan/BESA HIU Committee), Paul Barker (Bristol City Council), Huw Blackwell (Anthesis), Dominic Bowers (WSP), Thomas Briault (ARUP), John Bryant (Association for Decentralised Energy), Martin Crane (Carbon Alternatives/BESA HIU Test Technical Lead), Dave Culver (UKDEA representative), Justin Etherington (Buro Happold), Roberto Gagliardi La Gala (GLA), Gabriel Gallagher (Sustainable Energy), Ian Guest (Energetik), Robert Hunter (L&Q), Olof Jangsten (Ramboll), Gareth Jones (FairHeat/BESA HIU Committee chair), Paul Kay (Vital Energi), Valeria Khnykina (FVB District Energy UK Ltd/BESA HIU Testing Technical Committee), Nicholas Minnitt (SSE Enterprise), Angela Murphy (Barbican Centre, City of London (previously of the Association for Decentralised Energy)), Chris Parsloe (Parsloe Consulting), Bethan Phillips (Verco), Michael Ridge (FairHeat), Tim Starley-Grainger (London Borough of Haringey), Colin Taylor (ENETEQ), Matthew Turner (AECOM), David Walton (BUUK Infrastructure). Paul Woods (independent consultant).

Corresponding Steering Committee members: Ross Anderson (Industrial and Commercial Energy Association/Manufacturers of Equipment for Heat Networks Association), Ashley Bateson (Hoare Lea, CIBSE Homes for the Future Group), Rob Boyer (AECOM), Marko Cosic (Coheat), Neil Davis (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Jon Greaves (Hydro-X Group), Craig Grobety (Heat Network Associates Ltd), Richard Hanson-Graville (Thermal Integration Ltd).

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