Please note our new telephone number is 01923 381 212 - More information
Uponor UK
Head Office
Uponor UK
The Pavillion
Blackmoor Lane
Watford Hertfordshiree
WD18 8GA

Is District Heating Sustainable?

CIBSE describes district heating as the supply of heat from a central heat source via a network of pipes carrying hot water to heat consumers. This heat distribution can cover a large area or even a city-wide level.

District heating is considered to be more efficient than individual boiler and heating systems and offers massive potential to reduce carbon emissions. Thanks to its potential to deliver affordable heat and bring social and economic benefits in communities, district heating has become very popular.

With this said, a few questions might come to mind:
Let’s review below the answers to those questions:


Who Invented District Heating?

The earliest examples of district heating were Roman hypocausts, a type of hot-air furnace often adapted to warm several buildings in close proximity, such as the three temples at Carnutum (Vienna). In London, district heating was introduced in 1622 by Dutch polymath Cornelius Drebbil, whose aim was to use it only to distribute heat for cooking and heating, thus reducing air pollution caused by individual coal stoves.


Is District Heating Renewable?

District heating is all about taking energy released as heat from a range of sources and connecting it to consumers through a system of highly insulated pipes. Once the heat network is in place, it can use a wide range of energy sources, from fossil fuels to waste and renewable sources such as biomass, solar and geothermal energy.


What Impact Does District Heating Have on C0₂ Emissions?

District heating reduces 517 million tonnes of C0₂ emissions per year: more than 9.3% of all carbon emissions in Europe.


Is District Heating Regulated?

In the UK, district heating schemes are not regulated and for this reason customers have no opportunity to swich heat suppliers and have a very limited right to redress should the service they receive fail to meet expectations.


Which Countries Use District Heating?

District heating is widely used in developed countries and throughout the world. However, its role is diverse across countries and its use is influenced by institutional factors and historic developments than climate conditions.

The 3 main countries that use district heating are:
  1. Russia, which is the global leader with more than 17,000 district heating systems serving 44 million customers.
  2. China
  3. Japan
In Europe, it is mainly the northern, central and eastern countries that have high penetration in district heating, while Poland and Germany have the largest total amount of district heat delivery. Highest growth rates for District heating are achieved in Austria and Italy.


The Future of Heating Systems

The need for transforming the energy system has reached full momentum. With new renewable technologies being introduced regularly, district heating is naturally the future. With its ability to use a number of energy sources, including renewable and wasted energy, increases energy security, minimises environmental impact and provides affordable comfort for citizens, district heating it definitely part of the future of heating.

If you want to know more, visit our District Heat Networks page for more information.