District energy systems provide heating and/or cooling from one central plant for many buildings in a neighborhood, district, or campus. The sources of thermal energy include combined heat and power (CHP) plants, “waste” heat from industrial processes and other sources, and renewables such as geothermal and biomass. Without individual boilers, furnaces, or chillers, buildings connected to a district energy system benefit from improved energy efficiency, fuel flexibility brought on by economies of scale, and additional productive space in buildings.
The C40 District Energy Network serves as a platform for cities to share best practices and policies to reduce emissions by promoting the use of district energy systems. The network is focusing on several priority areas for cities, including expansion of the use of renewables for district energy and the development of effective planning processes, incentives and business models.
The District Energy Network is led by Vancouver.