Heat Network


UKChat Familiar
Mar 14, 2024
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What is a heat network?

Heat networks, also known as district heating, work by collecting local unused heat, turning it into hot water and distributing that hot water to local users via a network of underground pipes. They are a low carbon replacement for gas boilers, providing both heating and hot water.

Overall, in the right location, heat networks are 40% cheaper than using individual air source heat pumps for each building. They are commonplace in towns and cities in Scandinavia.

Local councils are installing these systems right now. Apart from Bristol, Worthing, Clapton and a few others are planning these systems for town centers.

Right now they're focusing on public buildings like libraries, schools and town halls but homeowners can also apply to connect to the work. All this will take years to complete while closing roads while installing the system. Its going to be a nightmare local residents and public transport users.

The real question you have to ask is it worth it? The alternative is that all these businesses and public buildings need to install a green energy efficient system which will cost millions and many just wont do it. Economies of scale should reduce the price of heating overall making it attractive. With technology improving each year these systems should become a lot more energy efficient over time reducing the running cost.

Downside is if the system fails parts of the town center will be without heating and hot water.

My opinion on this is simple and pragmatic. 200 years ago the Victorians installed gas pipes for the first time. People complain that the gas was poisonous, dangerous and explosive. In the last 200 years we've resolved a lot of those issues and gas appliances are found in most homes today. Since then we've been looking for a long-term solution to ending our reliance on a fossil fuels. I don't know if this is the answer. Whether or not it lowers heating cost for many homeowners it might be a good start.

I think the real question is if one of our many road workers accidentally cuts through a pipe would you like him to die from a gas explosion or cooked to live by boiling hot water ;)


UKChat Celebrity
Apr 21, 2018
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If they can replace heat pumps I'm all for them. One of the neighbours has a heat pump. A big white box in the front garden humming away day and night. Doesn't exactly add to the kerb appeal of this place. :(