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District Heating

District Heating (Heat Networks) in Denmark

The Danish district heating sector provides 64 percent of all Danish households with district heating (up from 61.8% in 2010 which equates to almost 113,000 additional connections over the period 2010-2016). This makes Denmark one of the countries in Europe that has the most developed district heating supply networks.

District heating production is decentralised, as production is generally reliant on being in the vicinity. This means that there is/are often only a single or just a few heating suppliers to the local district heating network. This means that the Danish district heating industry is regarded as a natural monopoly and is regulated by a principle of non-profit. This principle dictates which costs can be covered in the heating price. Likewise, the price of district heating must not exceed the cost of heat production. This ensures that customers are protected against possible abuse as a result of the industry’s natural monopoly state.

In addition to municipally-owned companies, a large proportion of Danish district heating companies are operated as cooperatives. This means that the cooperative is owned by its own customers and works to promote their common interests. Alongside the non-profit principle, this creates an efficient heat supply at the lowest possible price for the end customer.

Heat Networks in the UK

There are over 17,000 heat networks in the UK of which around 91% are located in England and 6% in Scotland. There are nearly 492,000 connections in total including 446,517 domestic customers, 33,273 commercial customers, 4,670 retail customers, 320 light industrial customers, 1,456 universities and school and a further 4,865 mixed use networks.