Rather than having an individual boiler in your building with a heat distribution system, district heating allows the delivery of heat from a centralised energy centre.
Other commercial and residential buildings in your area will also get heat from this energy centre, connecting multiple buildings in the same heat network.
You will have a heating interface unit (HIU) installed in your office or building, meaning you can control the heat and hot water you receive without impacting the temperature of other buildings.
Not only could district heating help lower your fuel costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (depending on the source of energy generation), it can also help create employment in your local area. According to the UK Government, district heating can reduce fuel bills by up to 30%.
District heating is not the same as communal – or community – heating. This type of heating typically only services one or two buildings in proximity to one another, while district heating works on a much larger scale.
Currently, district heating in England and Wales is unregulated. However, the UK Government has targets in place for 15-18% of heat to be generated from district heating networks by 2050.
The Scottish Government has passed a Heat Networks Bill and is currently undergoing implementation of a licensing system for heat networks, while the Heat Trust was established in 2015 as a voluntary UK-wide scheme to set common standards across the sector and give consumers a voice.