What is Community Energy?
Community energy systems utilize a central plant to produce steam and chilled water that is distributed to buildings through a network of underground pipes.
The steam is used for heating and the chilled water for cooling. With the ability to manage energy costs, improve operational efficiency, and eliminate long-term risks, building owners can turn their focus to maximizing the value of their property.
One Source. Endless Advantages.
Unlike traditional HVAC systems located within a building, community energy arrives as a finished product, so there is no need for expensive onsite boilers. By eliminating the need for onsite equipment, the upfront capital costs and long-term maintenance expenses are no longer a factor. Community energy also provides financial benefits on the service side.For example, district energy allows for up to 50% less primary energy consumption.
Customers only pay for the service they use which reduces annual heating and cooling costs. And community energy creates the opportunity to integrate services so that waste is limited, and resources are optimized. This approach delivers both economic and environmental benefits.
Lower Cost of Production
Community heating or cooling production can be achieved by using several different fuel types. This makes community energy production very flexible. In turn, this decreases the cost of production and increases both the security of supply and production efficiency.
Reduce Expenses. Increase Opportunities
When you purchase HVAC equipment and install it in a commercial building, you assume a great deal of financial risk.
Equipment requires periodic maintenance and specialized labor to operate a complex mechanical system. Not to mention, aging, inoperable HVAC equipment will need to be replaced. As a community energy customer, there is no need to install, repair, or replace an internal HVAC system, as energy is produced at the central plant and delivered to your building as a finished product that will heat and cool your space.
Since space is no longer needed to accommodate a boiler or chiller, valuable square footage is freed up and becomes a potential source of income.
Maintain the Bottom Line
Commercial HVAC installation costs range from $7,000 to $30,000, depending on the system and size of the building, while annual maintenance and repair fees average around $1,000. With district energy, all the production and distribution equipment and associated maintenance costs are financed and paid for by the supplier.
- Community energy has been in use for more than two centuries.
- More than 700 district energy systems are operating in the USA
- Community energy accounts for nearly half of the world’s heating supply