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Posted by Ian Allan

Wednesday 10th December, 2014

The Benefits of Community Heating [SlideShare]

Posted by Ian Allan

Find out how community heating can save money, cut pollution and ease fuel poverty.


What is community heating?

Buildings heated by community heating take hot water piped from one central boiler plant or energy centre to heat their radiators and provide hot water.


Why use community heating?

Its benefits are:

  • Environmental
  • Economic
  • Social


Environmental benefits of community heating

Economies of scale mean that one central boiler plant is more efficient than individual boilers.

An example of this is Leicester’s City Centre District Heating Scheme, which spans six estates in the city and will have saved more than 20,000 tonnes of carbon by 2020. energy savings are typically 25% compared to individual building gas boilers and up to 50% compared to electric heating.


Fuels rush in

Community heating can use fuels in ways that just wouldn’t work in individual houses or flats.

Combinations of energy sources can be used, including traditional gas fired boilers, biomass, CHP and low grade heat technologies such ground source heat pumps.

Heat that would otherwise be wasted during industrial processes can be used when the plant is connected to a district heat network.

Typical carbon dioxide emissions [g/kWh] of different heating systems:

District heating   Individual heating  
CHP gas 10 Gas boiler 260
CHP coal 270 Coal fired boiler 530
Biomass 30 Oil fired boiler 350
Waste incineration 20 Electric heating 850
Oil 360 Heat pump 300


Economic benefits of community heating

Community heating can cut the costs to the housing management and to the consumer.

Factors in economic savings:

  • Reduced maintenance
  • No gas boiler avoids safety inspection costs
  • Longer equipment life
  • 25 years – versus 15 for gas boilers
  • CHP

Supplying electricity can cut building management costs or provide income and lower electricity bills to customers.


Social benefits of community heating

Systems that serve social housing – typically owned by a local authority or housing association - are among the most viable. It can reduce energy bills for residents on benefits or within fuel poverty. Affordable warmth reduces cold and condensation related illnesses.

Discover even more benefits of community heating. Download your free eGuide: ‘Why choose a community heating scheme?’

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Ian Allan

Head of Market Strategy

Areas of expertise:

• Industry challenges and issues • Heat Network Regulations • Smart metering

• Innovation in heat networks • Tariff setting • Energy prepayment • Digital innovation

• Data management • Automated Meter Reading (AMR) • Heat Interface Units

• International district heating • Compliance & best practice standards

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