We want to make homes more energy efficient, to reduce tenants’ home energy bills and reduce greenhouse gasses in Angus. We’ve installed district heating in the new houses and flats at Academy Court in Forfar to help achieve this.
Colleagues from Dundee City Council and Perth & Kinross Council visited the Academy Court site last week to see the new district heating system for themselves.
What is District Heating?
Rather than having an individual boiler in each property, district or community heating is generated from a central energy centre with one set of boilers. These boilers may be gas or include renewable sources such as biomass (wood) fuel. In addition to heating, water and electricity may also be included in the central energy centre. The utilities are then distributed to properties via a local infrastructure (pipes and wires) direct to homes. With community energy you have a pre-heated building that is kept warm all the time. This means tenants only have to pay for the heat they use and not the costs associated with running an individual boiler from cold to hot. Centralised community energy schemes optimise efficiency far and above that of an individual system supplying one customer.
Benefits of using district heat include:
- Receiving low carbon energy from local heat sources that can help reduce emissions. District heating can be highly efficient and uses low carbon fuel sources.
- Helping to tackle the problem of fuel poverty. Replacing expensive heating systems with a district heat network, especially in high-rise apartment blocks, may reduce fuel costs.
- Lowering the cost of heat – the connection to the local heat source should provide lower cost heat for residential customers, as compared to heat from fossil fuels.
- The diagram below shows how homes are heated. A central boiler room pumps hot water through pipes to each property connected to the district heating network. There are individual meters in each home which measure the energy used.