Biomass can drive further economies of scale and exponentially lower emissions than with multiple localised boilers. Where the installation can be on a scale of 50-400kW, this can become highly environmentally and economically beneficial with savings multiplied across multiple units, buildings or zones.
For housing developers
Building Regulations, RHI and Code for Sustainable Homes Compliance; CO2 savings will give a significant advantage in Code for Sustainable Homes Developments and easy compliance with Document J of the Building Regulations (Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems) and Document L of the Building Regulations (the Conservation of fuel and power).
The lower carbon footprint synergies of a high efficiency biomass boiler heating several buildings, the use of renewable fuel and district heating combined can also ensure easy compliance in respect to meeting maximum emission levels.
Commercial landlord advantages
Heat usage levels can be monitored by the quantity of hot water used in the relevant building being measured via a heat meter. This allows delivered heat to be accurately and easily billed.
Tenanted properties which are heated by renewable energy can also be easier to let and to keep let, with less time left unoccupied.
Control and safety at the point of use
With combustion only occurring centrally, the occupants or tenants in each individual building are given a safe environment in which to live or work, with no annual safety checks, carbon monoxide alarms or health and safety provisions required at the point of use. This gives tenants all of the controls they would expect from a full boiler system, but in a smaller and safer package.
Ease/lower costs of maintenance and servicing
In addition, district heating offers a range of administrative benefits, time and cost savings, as well as huge potential maintenance and servicing advantages.
Remote meter reading and heating control by web-based applications or GSM are possible, as are remote diagnostics to ensure reliable operation.
This can provide landlords (who have multiple tenanted properties) with ease of management, particularly if their properties are in different geographic locations. This can offer time and financial savings from not having to travel to remote locations.
Other key benefits
District heating currently provides approximately 1-2% of the UK’s heat demand.
Research shows that there is a possibility that district heating could supply in the region of 14% of the UK’s heat demand and be an extremely feasible and cheap alternative to both individual fossil fuel and renewable technologies, at the same time as reducing bills for the consumers involved.