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  • PublisherCIBSE
  • Product CodeCP1
  • Number of pages96
  • Publication DateJul 2015
  • ISBN9781906846626

CP1 : Heat networks: Code of Practice for the UK


PDF Format







PDF Format






CP1 : Heat networks: Code of Practice for the UK


A new cover was added to the Code of Practice in March 2016 (to co-ordinate with the release of CP2). The content of CP1 is completely unchanged.

Note: A Corrigendum to CP1 has been issued in June 2017 which corrects an error in the labelling on Figure 11 on Page 40. The Corrigendum with the corrected image can be downloaded here. This correction is incorporated into the downloadable file available from the buttons above (from 30 June 2017).

Heat Networks: Code of Practice for the UK is the first Code of Practice to be published by CIBSE. It has been produced as a joint project between CIBSE and the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) and was launched on on 8 July 2015. 

Presentations from the launch event can be downloaded here.

If heat networks are to form a significant part of our future low carbon energy infrastructure in the UK, and meet client and customer expectations, then they need to be designed, built and operated to a high quality. This Code has been produced to assist in achieving that aim by raising standards right across the supply chain. Setting minimum (and best practice) standards should provide greater confidence for specifiers and developers. This Code can also be included in the tendering/contracting process to specify minimum requirements for a project.

NOTE: A short leaflet explaining how the Code can be used in this way by building owners and developers can be downloaded here.

Linked titles
CIBSE has so far published two other Codes of Practice in this area:

  • CP2: Surface Water Source Heat Pumps: Code of Practice for the UK (here)
  • CP3: Open-loop groundwater source heat pumps: CoP for the UK - Harnessing energy from water in the ground for heating and cooling (here) .

Heat Network Consultant Training

CIBSE, supported by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), has also developed training and registration of heat network professionals to ensure that the skills necessary to implement the Code of Practice are available across the sector. The Code of Practice, supported by these trained professionals, should provide a step change in the heat network sector.

There are two available courses:

  • a one day course which provides an introduction to heat networks and the CIBSE/ADE Heat Networks Code of Practice for those who are involved in procuring/developing heat networks (see the leaflet above for information on how the Code can be used in this way) and those using or specifying the Code
  • a two day course aimed at practicing engineers looking for detailed understanding of the themes and technical challenges dealt with by the Code, with an exam and the opportunity to join the CIBSE Heat Networks register.

Full details of Heat Network Consultant Training courses

Heat Network Code structure

The Code is written to cover all stages of the development cycle of a project from feasibility through design, construction, commissioning and operation. The core of the Code is structured as follows:

  • The typical sequence of a project by stage from initial brief and feasibility through to operation and maintenance.
  • For each project stage, a number of objectives are set.
  • For each objective a number of minimum requirements are defined to achieve the objectives.

All of these minimum requirements will need to be met if the project is to comply fully with the Code. The Code may be used either for the entire project or for a particular stage but the greatest value will be obtained when it is followed for all stages.


Part A – How to use this Code
i. Introduction
ii. Scope
iii. Legislation
iv. Applications for heat networks – challenges and opportunities

Part B – The Requirements

1. Preparation and briefing
Objective 1.1 To commission the project in accordance with the Code of Practice
Objective 1.2 To agree contracts that are fair and equitable with customers
Objective 1.3 To define appropriate service levels for the heat supply

2. Feasibility
Objective 2.1 To achieve sufficient accuracy of peak heat demands and annual heat consumptions
Objective 2.2 To identify the most suitable low carbon heat sources and location of an energy centre
Objective 2.3 To determine the location of top-up and standby boilers and use of existing boilers
Objective 2.4 To select suitable operating temperatures
Objective 2.5 To define heat network distribution routes, pipe sizes and costs
Objective 2.6 To determine building connection costs including heat metering
Objective 2.7 To minimise the negative impacts of phasing the development
Objective 2.8 To assess operation and maintenance needs and costs
Objective 2.9 To conduct a consistent economic analysis and options appraisal
Objective 2.10 To analyse risks and carry out a sensitivity analysis
Objective 2.11 To assess environmental impacts and benefits
Objective 2.12 To develop preferred business structures, contract strategy and procurement strategy

3. Design
Objective 3.1 To design for safety in construction, operation and maintenance and to achieve quality of design
Objective 3.2 To achieve sufficient accuracy of peak heat demands and annual heat consumptions
Objective 3.3 To select suitable building interfaces, direct or indirect connections
Objective 3.4 To design or modify suitable space heating and domestic hot water services systems
Objective 3.5 To achieve an energy-efficient heat network
Objective 3.6 To achieve a low cost network – optimisation of routes and pipe sizing for minimum lifecycle cost
Objective 3.7 To achieve a reliable network with a long life and low maintenance requirements
Objective 3.8 To select heat metering, pre-payment and billing systems that are accurate and cost-effective
Objective 3.9 To achieve an efficient heat distribution system within a multi-residential building, and to reduce the risk of overheating
Objective 3.10 To design a cost-effective and efficient central plant
Objective 3.11 To optimise the use of thermal storage
Objective 3.12 To update and refine the economic analysis, risk analysis and sensitivities
Objective 3.13 To assess environmental impacts and benefits

4. Construction and installation
Objective 4.1 To reduce health and safety risks to staff, customers and the general public
Objective 4.2 To achieve a high quality heat network construction to deliver a long asset life
Objective 4.3 To provide a high quality hydraulic interface unit (HIU) and building connection construction to provide good customer service levels
Objective 4.4 To reduce adverse environmental impacts of construction

5. Commissioning
Objective 5.1 To achieve consistently low return temperatures through commissioning building heating systems/controls
Objective 5.2 To provide HIU commissioning and heat network balancing to ensure demands are met at all times
Objective 5.3 To commission the heat metering and meter reading system to deliver accuracy and customer service
Objective 5.4 To commission the central plant to deliver an efficient and reliable service
Objective 5.5 To provide a smooth handover and sufficient information for the operations team

6. Operation and maintenance
Objective 6.1 To reduce health and safety risks to staff, customers and the general public
Objective 6.2 To achieve cost-effective, accurate and reliable heat metering, pre-payment and billing systems
Objective 6.3 To maintain a high level of reliability and a long life for the heat network
Objective 6.4 To deliver cost-effective and efficient maintenance of central plant that maintains a long life for the asset
Objective 6.5 To provide appropriate monitoring and reporting of central plant
Objective 6.6 To maintain the building connections to provide good customer service
Objective 6.7 To minimise environmental impacts of operation and maintenance

7. Customer expectations and obligations
Objective 7.1 To provide reports on energy supply and use and bills that are clear and informative
Objective 7.2 To develop communications with customers that meet customer expectations
Objective 7.3 Obligations to be met by customers

A. Glossary of terms
B. Checklist for commissioning HIUs
C. Guidance on the use of SAP modelling of heat networks
D. Guidance on types of building connections and internal heating systems for dwellings
E. Guidance on achieving an energy-efficient heat network


Further reading



Principal Author: Paul Woods (formerly at AECOM, now with Cofely), prepared by AECOM under contract to CIBSE and in association with the ADE

Steering Committee:
Phil Jones (Chair)
Hanaé Chauvaud de Rochefort, Peter Concannon, Ed Palmer, Tim Rotheray, Paul Woods

And the following members:
Ross Anderson, Paul Appleton, Mark Baker, Aimee Betts-Charalambous, Huw Blackwell, Guy Boulby, Martin Crane, Dave Culver, Yan Evans, Lars Fabricius, Jacquelyn Fox , Roberto Gagliardi, Paul Kay, Charlotte Large, Peter North, Paul Martin, Graham Perrior, Marc Primaroh, Keith Shenstone, David Wagstaff, Mark Whettall, Robin Wiltshire and David Wickersham

Further comments were gratefully received from corresponding members including:
Sergey Barekyan Silver, Ashley Bateson, Will Griffiths, Paul Millard, Minhajuddin Mohammed and colleagues at E.ON, William Orchard, Chris Parsloe, Steve Richmond and Simon Woodward

Vimal Bhana, Thomas Briault and Julian Packer

Further information:
A useful additional resource, as suggested by the Chair of the CP2 Steering Commitee, is provided by Islington Council's 'Guidelines for connecting to heat networks'. This is published in 2 parts:

  • Part 1 'A guide for developers and building owners' aims to give guidance for all those intending to connect to existing and future heat networks within the Borough of Islington. This Islington connection guide draws best practice guidance together to provide a coherent package. Ths can be downloaded from Islington's website here .
  • Part 2 'A guide for building services designers connecting to Bunhill Heat and Power' aims to provide technical guidance for those intending to connect to the existing Bunhill Heat and Power network. This should be read in conjunction with Part 1, which sets out the benefits to developers/owners and their responsibilities in connecting to heat networks. This is available here.