District Heating Schemes

Centralised boiler installation to provide heat for a number of homes or commercial buildings

D & J Franks Renewables install renewable energy source district heating schemes across the North East region and UK. District scheme heating is becoming more popular in the UK, providing low carbon emissions, huge savings and the opportunity to receive payments for the heat produced through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

What is District Heating?

District heating schemes use a centralised boiler installation to provide heat for a number of buildings.  This can use a heat only boiler, or the heat from a combined heat and power (CHP) plant.

Renewable Energy District Heating

Boilers that have the ability to burn woodfuels, such as wood chips or pellets tend to be physically larger and more expensive than equivalent gas or oil boilers.  This is partly as a result of the physical requirements for a high temperature combustion environment and transporting the solid fuel.  However, as boilers get larger the disparity with gas and oil boilers becomes comparatively smaller, and so woodfuel becomes more economically attractive, especially for installations to the scale of a few hundred kW.

A typical district heating scheme installation consists of a highly insulated "heat main" or flow and return pipes that distribute hot water (or steam) past all buildings which might be connected.  A junction point allows easy connection to each building, from which hot water can be taken from the main to a heat exchanger (heat substation) within each building.  The heating circuit within the building is isolated from the heat main.  A heat meter allows the heat usage in each building, or even apartment, to be separately measured, and delivered heat billed for accordingly.  

Remote meter reading via the web is possible, as are remote diagnostics to ensure reliable operation.

Benefits of District Heating Schemes

District heating schemes can extend the reach of renewables, by using renewable heat efficiently and providing opportunities for the deployment of renewable technologies that otherwise wouldn't be viable.  Benefits include:

  • Significant reduction in CO2 emissions through the optimisation of heat supply
  • Lower energy costs - district heating schemes can take advantage of renewable heating solutions such as biomass or air/ground source heat pumps to reduce energy costs.
  • Financial rewards - district heating schemes that utilise renewable heating solutions can benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme which means you could receive payments for the heat you produce.
  • Efficiently manage supply & demand – a district heating scheme helps to efficiently manage the supply and demand of energy and dramatically increase fuel efficiency 
  • Reduced labour & maintenance costs - compared to having individual systems installed in each building/apartment.

District Heating installations in the North East

If you’re based in the North East and interested in finding out more about a renewable energy district heating scheme and whether you may be eligible for funding - don't hesitate to get in touch.


The Renewable Heating Incentive can help fund the cost of your installation as well as providing ongoing financial incentive payments.

This government-run scheme offers cash payments for every kilowatt of renewable energy produced through biomass heating and air or ground heat pumps. The RHI is open to eligible commercial and domestic customers in the UK.

Contact us to find out how a renewable heat district scheme can benefit you.

Contact Us

Enterprise House
The Hub
Aycliffe Business Park
Co Durham

+44 (0)800 1244 440

Our Services

D&J Franks Renewables have been providing heating solutions for over 40 years for both commercial and domestic clients across the North East and across the UK.

We provide a complete service for biomass and heat pump renewable heating, from design, installation and servicing, to technical consultancy for new developments and district heating schemes.

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