District heating: operation costs and Heat

House & Garden buddha5000 August 7, 2016 0 1
We are always busy looking for new and environmentally friendly ways to heat our homes. Many people heating with gas and install a condensing boiler, a solar water heating with others. In some parts of the Netherlands is also offered district heating. This environmentally friendly way of heating is very popular. The industry's waste heat is used for hundreds of thousands of families and businesses with heat and hot water. But how does district heating? And is it really as environmentally friendly as it is told? And what about the costs?

What is district heating?

District heating is an alternative way of heating in which no use is made of gas. The residual heat that remains in power plants, factories or incineration is used to heat homes. Is also used heat generated by the earth itself, such as geothermal energy or geothermal energy. Both households and businesses can be connected to district heating. When heating is used to heat a house complex, it is called block via a collective heating boiler.
District heating occurs in parts of Flevoland, Gelderland, Limburg, North Brabant, Noord-Holland, Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland and South Holland.


In the 70s and 80s, they started with the construction of district heating networks. Anno 2014 are connected to approximately 280,000 households in the Netherlands on these environmentally friendly way of heating.

How does district heating?

District heating an underground pipeline is placed under residential areas and industrial estates. Water is heated by the waste heat from industry, and then pumped to transfer stations. These are located in the residential areas. From there, the hot water to heat the facilities in the meter cupboards of the houses. The heat systems distribute heat around the radiators. Cold water is heated by means of a heat exchanger. The cooled water flows back to the transfer stations, which pumps it back, in turn, to the industry in order to warm it up again.

Advantages and disadvantages of district heating

District heating saves energy because of its scale. The heat is controlled for entire neighborhoods, and not for individual houses. Compared to a house with its own boiler, a house heated with district heating mean 50 percent fewer CO2 emissions. This can be compared with 10 000 km did not drive a car, or generate energy with 30 solar panels. District heating is therefore very environmentally friendly.
The biggest drawback is the loss of energy in transport and the cost of this transport. The construction of pipeline networks is a great investment because the pipes must be well insulated to minimize heat loss.
People can not transfer heat supplier. The municipality determines which areas have access to district heating. The heating networks are not mutually connected with each other, and there is often only one local energy source. As a result there is only one supplier of heat which can decrease the heat.

What is the cost of district heating?

District heating consists of fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs cover the connection, meter rental and transportation. Variable costs depend on the amount of heating you use. This consumption is measured by the heat meter that each house. The heat consumption is measured in gigajoules. Homes that are connected to district heating have a gas connection or boiler. To determine the prices we look at the average annual consumption of a consumer who heats with gas. With district paid you no longer to heat than if you heat with gas. This is also referred to as the NMDA-principle. NMDA stands for Not More Than Others.
The costs of district heating are therefore comparable to the cost of a gas-heated property. You save it in extra costs for maintenance and depreciation of their own boiler because they are not present in the house.

The Heat

Because the users of district heating depend on a local source, they can not simply change heat supplier. Since heat is a basic user of district heating extra protection, and the Heat created. This law has been operational since 1 January 2014. The users are receiving this law in a reliable delivery, good service and an acceptable price. Heat Suppliers may make a reasonable but limited profit on their heating networks.

What is in the Heat?

In the Heat are some things described to further protect consumers with district heating in the areas of:
  • Supply: The continuity of district heating is ensured.
  • Affordability: a maximum rate nationwide is adopted for heat. The government will see to it that no higher rates being charged there.
  • Service: Customers are provided with a clear invoice and receive advance information about activities and breaks.

Also described in the Heat when the heat supplier, you may enter and when you are entitled to compensation in case of failure. Also sets out what should be included in the contract between supplier and consumer, the rights and obligations in measuring consumption and the ability to submit a dispute to an arbitration board. The ACM monitors the suppliers of district heating.