Now is the time to embrace district heating

A commercial and industrial heating manufacturer is urging local authorities and housing associations to upgrade or implement district heating schemes.

Geoff Hobbs, business development director at Bosch Commercial and Industrial Heating, argues that modern district heating schemes hold the potential to enhance energy efficiency due to the advancement of today’s renewable and low carbon technologies, compared to those available 20 or 30 years ago.

Geoff said: “District heating schemes gradually fell out of favour from the 1980s onwards as combi boilers became the go-to solution for the provision of heating and hot water. However, due to the advancement in renewable and low carbon technologies, such as heat pumps and combined heat and power, district heating schemes are once again being considered for all types of projects and are fast becoming the heating solution of choice for apartment blocks, other forms of multi-residential accommodation, as well as commercial and industrial estates.

“There are currently an estimated 250,000 existing properties on district heating schemes in the UK but numbers are growing all the time as local authorities and housing associations look for innovative ways to make energy savings, reduce the carbon footprint and help lower fuel bills.”

BoschGeoff also believes that by implementing Heat Interface Units (HIU) within a district heating scheme, investors can benefit from a number of cost and performance enhancements.

Geoff said: “HIUs offer simple installation when compared to boilers as installers are not required to have gas training qualifications in order to install them, making the overall process more cost and time efficient. More importantly, HIUs allow users to have greater control over the monitoring and usage of energy, which together with the improved system efficiency and use of renewable energy, will help to alleviate fuel poverty.

“With a host of renewable and low carbon technologies now available in the marketplace, it is not surprising that district heating schemes are fast becoming a mainstream solution for large scale residential applications.”