Heatnet: delivering low carbon district heat

In 2018, the Scottish Government proposed increasing Scotland’s carbon emissions reduction target from 80% reduction by 2050 to a 90% reduction by 2050. In Aberdeen, 59% of emissions come from buildings and a large proportion of these emissions are from energy used to heat our homes and businesses.

Developing district heating networks and other low-carbon heat solutions, and installing energy efficiency measures, will help to achieve these targets and reduce carbon emissions.

A district heating network is a heating system that heats several buildings. It has a central plant which replaces the individual heating systems in each building. The central plant produces hot water which is circulated through pipes to each building. Find out more about district heating networks

Aberdeen City Council is a project partner in the delivery of Interreg Heatnet NWE, a European funded project, which aims to increase the provision of district heating networks and affordable warmth within North West European countries.

As part of the Heatnet NWE project, Aberdeen City Council is completing a pilot project in Torry. An existing district heating network within this area currently serves three multi storey blocks.  The pilot will expand this existing network, linking in three municipal buildings; Balnagask House, Provost Hogg Court and Deeside Family Centre.  Following a competitive tender exercise, Nicol of Skene have been appointed to deliver the project. 

Work to lay the pipe work and make alterations to the building plant rooms has been completed. Commissioning and testing of the new heating systems is now underway. Please see the map of the pipe route for more information

Compared to each property having an individual gas boiler, the use of district heating can have the following benefits:

  • No mains gas required so the carbon monoxide risk is eliminated.
  • Reduction of standing charges.
  • Reduced heating maintenance costs.
  • On demand hot water and security of supply.
  • Affordable heating costs.
  • Potential improvement in energy performance rating.
  • Reduced carbon emissions and improved energy efficiencies through efficient heat delivery and generation.
  • District heating can be supplied to a range of property types.

In 2002, Aberdeen City Council formed a separate not for profit company to provide combined heat and power CHP schemes in Aberdeen. Carbon emissions from these buildings have reduced by 45% and typical fuel costs to tenants have been reduced by up to 50% over the previous electric heating systems.

Potential future plans include expansion of the heat network, initially within the Torry area and eventually to cross the River Dee to link up with the other district heating networks in Aberdeen.

In addition to connection to domestic properties, businesses and high-energy users within Aberdeen are invited to express their interest in the scheme and its long-term future development within Aberdeen. This will help plan future routes for long-term network development within the city centre.

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