Economic and ecological feasibility of district heating

EnergyVille’s thermal research on economic feasibility maps out all financial parameters of a district heating network and provides a detailed overview of its costs and advantages. The result is a user-friendly calculation model you can use to easily determine the economic feasibility of your district heating as well as the ecological impact (particulates, emission of hazardous substances).


  • user friendly: store and load scenarios, parameter studies
  • reporting: the graphs are easy to generate
  • background information: data are always based on scientific literature, but the user can always overwrite the standard values
  • very extensive: write-off periods, financing possibilities, subsidies/certificates, phasing in district heating, re-investment, etc.
  • accurate: the results are the product of a simulation per hour over the entire life span of the network. The production mix is determined every hour, the return calculated, the consumption calculated…. This is how the cash flow per hour is determined.


This research is the ideal aid for analysing the economic feasibility of district heating. The large number of graphs available also makes this model exceptionally suitable for reporting.

The software is well suited for fast scenario analyses, such as:

  • How is the cost effectiveness of the district heating influenced by:
    • increased/decreased demand?
    • rates used (connection costs, permanent rights, variable costs)?
    • financing (percentage own/other means, interest loan, loan period) and registration periods?
    • support measures?
    • loss of a major customer in the region (bankruptcy, etc.)?
    • connecting smaller regions with limited heating requirements?
  • Which (combination of) heat production technology (technologies) is (are) optimum?
    • various small CHPs (cogeneration) at businesses where the electricity can be used in combination with a gas boiler?
    • one large CHP where electricity is sold to the network with a gas boiler as backup?
    • the best dimensions for a cogenerator (CHP) if the district heating is to be built in phases?
    • using a wood chip boiler for processing wood waste, after x number of years connect residual heat from a source in the area?
    • thermal solar collectors in combination with CHP and gas boiler?


  • project developers
  • engineering offices
  • energy consultants
  • network distribution managers
  • district heating managers
  • cities and municipalities
  • government authorities
  • energy producers


  • evaluation of the economic feasibility of a district heating network based on the internal rate of return (IRR), Net Present Value (NPV) and (Simple) Payback Period (S)PP
  • overview of the (avoided) CO2, SO2, NOx and particulate emissions
  • accurate:
    • simulation over the entire life span of the district heating
    • the full-load return, part-load return, maintenance costs, etc. are determined for every hour
  • user friendly:
    • large number of graphs for analysing and reporting on the economic feasibility of the district heating
    • available as executable
  • very detailed: various rates, CHP/green energy certificates, maintenance costs, subsidies and financing possibilities included
  • economic – ecological model

Contact at EnergyVille
Erik De Schutter
Business Developer Thermal Energy Systems at EnergyVille/VITO

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