Arup has developed a free toolkit designed to identify areas with the potential to benefit from district heating schemes. Arup developed DENet – the Decentralised Energy Network Assessment Toolkit – on the basis of a commission by the London Borough of Haringey with funding from the Local Carbon Frameworks programme sponsored by DECC (the Department of Energy and Climate Change).
The toolkit is designed to help local authorities and other stakeholders spot specific areas that will enjoy the best returns from the installation or extension of a district heating system.
Highly successful district heating systems operating in places such as Copenhagen in Denmark and Southampton in the UK already provide excellent examples of just how effective this approach can be. However, local authorities can be put off by the costs and complexity of a full feasibility study.
By removing some of the uncertainty at the pre-feasibility stage, DENet is likely to help more people secure the advantages of more sustainable energy supplies, lowering fuel bills and emissions while improving energy security.
As Arup Project Director, Stephen Cook, explains, “The benefits of using this free toolkit are very clear at a time when energy bills are rising and we face the threat of climate change. It will be easier for local authorities to spot opportunities to install modern utilities with lower running costs. Local residents and businesses will be able to enjoy long-term reductions in their fuel bills. And with lower carbon emissions, local communities make a positive contribution to mitigating the risk of climate change, which means that everyone benefits from a more sustainable power supply.”