The proposal for a Collective Heat Supply Act (Wet Collectieve Warmtevoorziening or WCW) stipulates that a residual heat producer that discharges such heat must make the heat available to a heat company upon request and free of charge (see Article 6 paragraph 1 of the Bill). This obligation concerns residual heat (unavoidable thermal energy) that is generated as a by-product in the operational management of a company and which, if not fed into a heat network, would end up unused in air or water.
According to the Explanatory Memorandum to the proposed new Act, it will often concern residual heat that is discharged into the water, but it may also concern a heat discharge into the air via, for example, a cooling tower or chimney. Examples of residual heat are surplus heat from data centers or industry. With the introduction of a “heat collection right”, the minister aims to create an incentive that stimulates the use of residual heat and strengthens the negotiating position of heat companies. This will give heat companies access to residual heat that would otherwise be discharged. The heat company must pay the producer’s decoupling costs, consisting of the actual costs of the heat producer to make the residual heat available to the heat company.
The WCW public consultation was completed in August 2020. The results of this consultation were published on 15 December 2020. In the written answers to parliamentary questions published on 22 April 2021, outgoing Minister Van ‘t Wout of Economic Affairs and Climate indicates that he aims to submit the Act to the Council of State for advice this year, so that the proposal can be presented to Parliament by the end of 2021.