UKDEA Media Release

The UK District Energy Association calls for common sense approach to industry standards

21st January 2013

With all the speculation around industry standards for district energy, the UK District Energy Association (UKDEA) has expressed concern that, whilst a standard aimed at ensuring district energy schemes are well planned and appropriately operated is a good thing, the emerging industry could be stifled if such standards place unnecessary financial burdens or restriction on innovation at this critical point in its development.

The UK is one of the last ‘developed’ countries to take up district energy on a large scale, and the industry is enjoying an unprecedented boom since the turn of the century. However, the UKDEA recognises that countries such as Germany and Denmark have been successfully operating district energy schemes on a much wider scale than the UK for some decades now.

The UKDEA acknowledges that many of these ‘old hands’ have spent years developing industry standards of their own, and that the UK should be looking to these industry leaders for guidance rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. The Association believes that any standard set in the UK would need to be harmonised with Europe for practical reasons, therefore adopting existing standards or at least elements of them should be the top priority for the UK district energy industry.

Previously, the UK saw a boom in district energy installations in the 1970’s which, without any guidance or standards for installation and operation, resulted in several poorly planned schemes being removed. The knowledge of this previous mistake has led some experts and organisations to call for formal standards, potentially before the groundwork has been laid for the UK’s marketplace.

The danger of restrictive and potentially expensive “British Standards” for district energy is that they could slow technological advances, and could see many of the smaller, more dynamic players in the district energy industry struggling to compete.

UKDEA chairman and CEO of Cofely District Energy, Simon Woodward, commented that,

“The UKDEA's view is that standards are a good idea, especially if the significant growth in DE takes place as we all expect - this will prevent systems being poorly installed and operated which was the main cause of DE schemes being removed in the 1970's following the previous boom.

Any industry standards that come about in relation to district energy should be set by a working group of industry experts and should be practical and workable. They should not put unnecessary costs onto an emerging industry.”

The UKDEA has already planned to look at industry standards in the workstream for the coming year, but intends to review standards used in Europe before attempting to create anything new.

The question of industry standards is firmly placed on the agenda for this forward thinking Association, and will be addressed later in 2013 once the groundwork has been laid for such discussions.


-- ENDS --


Notes to Editors:

The partners, owners and operators of the largest district energy schemes in the UK have aligned themselves in the creation of the UK District Energy Association (UKDEA); with the aim of not only promoting district energy as a means to deliver significant carbon savings, but also to establish a direct link between the Government and the industry's small market base.

The Association is a not for profit, non-trade association of companies and public sector organisations involved or interested in district energy schemes of all sizes, from village scale, community based 'micro district energy' schemes to city wide district heat energy networks.

Still in its infancy, the UKDEA has attracted leading players in the industry, with the UKDEA's full members comprising of 13 major organisations:

  • Birmingham City Council
  • Cofely District Energy Limited
  • ENER-G Switch 2 Limited
  • Enviroenergy Limited
  • E.ON Energy Solutions Limited
  • Leicester City Council
  • Newcastle City Council
  • Newport City Homes Limited
  • Shetland Heat, Energy and Power Limited
  • Southampton City Council
  • SW Energy Limited
  • Thameswey Limited
  • Veolia Environmental Services Limited


Together, these thirteen organisations represent the: Birmingham, Leicester, Liverpool Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newport, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, Shetland, Southampton and Woking District Energy schemes, together with a number of schemes in London including Olympic Park and Stratford City, Bloomsbury Heat & Power, Whitehall, Hatfield, Dalston Square, Greenwich Millennium Village, Barbican Arts Centre, Guildhall, Bastion House, Ontario Tower, Pan Peninsula, Baltimore Wharf, Wapping Lane, High Point Village and London Central Markets.


The UKDEA also has 28 Associate Members, including international members, sharing and contributing information to our district energy knowledge base.

UKDEA Key Facts:

Together the UKDEA members represent:

  • Over 160 MW of low carbon generation plant (CHP, biomass, EFW etc)
  • Supported by over 695 MW of conventional back up boiler plant
  • Delivering over 700,000,000 kWh of heat each year
  • Across energy networks which, if combined, would extend for more than 205 miles

Through Full and Associate membership, the UK District Energy Association's aim is to represent current and potential owners, developers, consumers, partners, operators, product suppliers and interested parties of District Energy schemes throughout the UK.

The UKDEA welcomes new members. Be part of our district energy information sharing loop and apply for membership of this forward thinking Association today.


For more information or membership details contact:

Chris Tanner
Secretary & Administrator for the UKDEA

Thames Head Wharf,
Tetbury Road,

Office: 01285 770615 Mobile: 07773 457941

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Website: www.ukdea.org.uk


BACK to media release page

RETURN to homepage