DISTRICT HEATING FINANCING AND OWNERSHIP
By Erik Christiansen, CEO of EBO Consult, Rie Krabsen, Marketing Officer, EBO Consult
THE PRINCIPLES OF A DISTRICT HEATING COOPERATIVE A district heating cooperative is a business model where consumers jointly own and participate in decision making processes regarding investments, operation, and maintenance of the district heating grid, and they are consulted when settling the heating price. The surplus of the cooperative is returned to the consumers. In that way, the surplus stays in the local community ensuring a low heating price and a high energy security.
In Denmark, about 340 out of 400 district heating companies are owned by local consumers. The cooperative model enables the consumers to co-decide on the future of the district heating company. It brings local acceptance of the transition to district heating, it benefits the individual consumer and it keeps the surplus in the local community. Therefore, it makes sense to work continuously on supporting the cooperative model in the district heating sector, but also in the overall energy sector.
A district heating package – developed by a district heating cooperative
When a consumer connects to the district heating grid, the consumer becomes a part of a community, where the common costs of the cooperative are shared by the consumers through the heating bill. The more consumers that convert into district heating, the more the heat price will decrease for all the district heating consumers. In that sense, the home of the individual consumer is no longer a “castle”, but a part of a district heating community.
In Hvidovre, a suburb to Copenhagen, the administration, operation, and maintenance of three district heating cooperatives are managed. The focus is to secure cheap, sustainable, and professional solutions in the management and operation of district heating, while achieving a high level of security of supply and customer satisfaction in favor of the district heating cooperative.
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