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Community heat networks

An introduction to our networks and how they operate

Our community heat networks provide heating and hot water to homes, public buildings and businesses. They are central heating systems that are shared through a network by a whole community. That’s why we call our networks ‘community heating’.

Watch our video for an introduction to how it works and the way we do things.

The networks are adaptable and can keep growing. Other heat sources can be used in addition to the Energy Centres, such as waste heat from industrial processes.

energetik is working on a series of heat networks in regeneration areas across the borough. Click here to view our interactive map.

  • Meridian Water heat network
  • Arnos Grove heat network
  • Ponders End heat network – two connected developments

Community heat networks in the UK

As heat networks become more common, we want energetik to be leading the way of how to get it right. The UK and Scottish governments have recognised that we need more community heating and ‘central heating for cities’ to reduce carbon in a secure and affordable way.

Community heating is sometimes referred to as district heating. Click here for more information on the principles and benefits of district heating, including the key differences between district heating and the regulated utilities.

How does community heating work in my home?

Each property has a hot water connection from the Energy Centre to a Heating Interface Unit (HIU) that’s installed in your property. This connection measures the temperature and amount of hot water that’s used for heating and hot water. Your Smart Meter takes automatic readings from the HIU, so you pay for what you use in real time.

The HIU takes heat from the network to your home’s radiators and hot water taps. The heating system and the hot water system inside your home are the same as a home with an individual gas boiler. This means that you have just as much control over your heating system. The community heat network supplies heat instantly, because there’s always hot water running in the pipes that are installed throughout the development. These pipes are well insulated, so the homes and shared spaces don’t get too hot.

Each home has a Smart Meter, which helps you understand and manage your heating costs. It looks like a typical tablet device with a touch screen. You can see how much energy you have used, how much credit you have on your account, and your payment history. So you are in control of what you spend.

In the unlikely event that the HIU or Smart Meter is faulty, we will repair or replace it. Everything after this point is your responsibility, or your landlord’s. This includes the pipes, radiators, showers and any underfloor heating. Although we are not responsible for these items we will try to put you in touch with someone who can help.

Read more: Residents

How is community heating different to a traditional heating system?

Most customers will hardly notice the difference between a home that’s heated with an individual gas boiler and one that’s heated by community heating. We’ve designed energetik’s community heat systems so that our customers’ experiences of their new heating should be better than what they are used to.

Here are some of the important differences:

  • You have immediately available, unlimited hot water supply.
  • You pay for the useful heat supply, rather than the amount of gas consumed.
  • There’s reduced maintenance for the individual heating system, as there is no boiler to safety check and maintain.
  • The HIU that takes the place of the boiler is smaller than a traditional wall-hung boiler, giving you more space.
  • There’s no hot water storage cylinder.
  • Homes use electricity for cooking, as there is no gas supply.
  • There’s only one heat supplier.

Read more: Cost comparison