A district heating system uses a central plant to heat a number of buildings. The central generator and/or boilers produce hot water which is circulated through pipes to the buildings. The hot water passes through the radiators in the buildings.
Apart from the absence of a boiler in each dwelling, there is no noticeable difference between a building using district heating and one with a conventional central heating system. The boiler is simply replaced by a heat exchanger.
Maintenance costs are also lower with a district heating system than for conventional heating systems. This is because there is only the centralised plant to maintain, rather than a large number of boilers situated in many properties.
The scheme generates power close to where it is needed, and uses heat produced in the process for heating and hot water rather than letting it go to waste