District Heating and Cooling (DHC) systems allow users – both public and private – to enjoy efficient and environmentally friendly energy systems whilst also meeting European Energy objectives.
When electricity is generated or waste is burned in an industrial process, large parts of the energy used are released in the form of surplus heat. DHC systems recycle this surplus heat (which otherwise would be wasted) to heat spaces and water. In addition, DHC systems can use many kinds of renewable energy sources (biomass, geothermal, solar thermal) to create heating or cooling systems.
These systems can be used in residential, public and commercial buildings as well as for meeting industrial demands for low-temperature heat.
Ecoheat4cities is keen to promote these energy efficient and environmentally friendly methods and unlock the full potential of DHC through:
- supporting transparency in the energy sector, including improved ability to compare DHC systems with other solutions (e.g. heat pumps, individual RES technologies);
- instilling confidence among city/town planners, investors, and policy-makers in the merits of introducing such a system. The assessment of merits is possible, despite the local nature of DHC and the diversity of schemes regarding its generation, distribution and supply;
- multiplying knowledge among customers with regard to the energy performance and environmental benefits of DHC.
Ecoheat4cities intends to introduce these benefits through the use of a green energy labelling system.
This labelling system will allow potential customers to assess – at a glance – the energy and environmental benefits of a system. The label also allows for easy comparison with other heating and cooling options, as well as with existing and/or future district heating and cooling schemes. Using a system of ratings, the potential customer can instantly gauge the merits of this system in terms of environmental efficiency, use of renewable energy sources and comparability with other existing energy systems.
The label should help local politicians, potential investors and private residents to easily choose a system with the best capability in terms of energy efficiency, low CO2 emissions and use of renewable energy sources. Ecoheat4cities also aims to encourage DHC companies to market the performance of their product from a primary resource perspective so potential customers are aware that such systems are at least equal to other primary resource systems.
The Structure of the Project
- The Project started in June 2010 and will last for a total of 30 months.
- It has been divided into 6 work packages (WP).
- Each WP is led by one of the project partners, based on their specific expertise in a relevant area. In this way, the success of the overall project is secured.
The 6 work packages are:
- WP 1: Management – This WP organises and coordinates the management of the project and the consortium. Euroheat & Power is the partner responsible for WP1.
- WP2: Green-Labelling Criteria – This WP will select the criteria and performance levels for the label. The Swedish District Heating Association is the partner responsible for WP2.
- WP3: DHC Green-Labelling Implementation – This WP will decide the procedures and practicalities regarding the administration and effective establishment of the labelling scheme. The German partners, AGFW, are responsible for WP3.
- WP4: Guidance to DHC Companies – This WP directly targets those companies that supply DHC systems. It will provide information and support applications for the labelling system. BRE, the UK-based consultancy, is the partner responsible for WP4.
- WP5: Guidance to Cities on Smart Heating & Cooling –This WP targets cities and will provide guidance on the relevance and applicability of the established labelling methodology for wider purposes. TUD, the Dutch-based consultancy, is the partner responsible for WP5.
- WP6: Communication & Dissemination – This WP accompanies all the other WPs and ensures on-going and effective communication of the intermediate and final outcomes of the project, targeting the relevant audiences. Euroheat & Power is the partner responsible for WP6.