About District Energy

District energy systems are a way of sharing energy efficiently across a community. They use a central energy plant to produce hot water, which is then distributed to heat exchangers located in each building. The heat exchangers, in turn, provide space heating and domestic hot water for residents. Once the water has been used, it returns to the central energy plant to be reheated and recirculated.

A district energy system can substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and may use a variety of alternative energy sources including biomass, GeoExchange, solar, and waste heat recovery.

Benefits of District Energy Systems

The BMDEU provides numerous benefits to the community and its residents, including:

  • Energy Efficiency and Reduced Carbon Footprint 
    The biomass central energy plant is an energy efficient alternative energy source that decreases greenhouse gas emissions which would otherwise contribute to climate change.
  • Reliability
    Community residents have reliable heat and hot water 7 days a week, 12 months of the year. Exposure to weather-related power outages is reduced compared to traditional electricity-based systems.
  • Resilience
    The system has the flexibility to add or change energy sources over time without having to modify residential building systems.
  • Customer Service
    Customers of the utility have 24/7 direct access to dedicated maintenance and service teams, leading to a higher level of service.
  • Simplicity
    Customers no longer have to manage complex building energy systems or set aside funding for future boiler system replacements.
  • Price Stability and Cost Management
    Because the system uses alternative fuel sources, residents’ exposure to fluctuating natural gas and electricity prices is reduced. In addition, operations and maintenance costs are reduced because the need for each building to have its own boiler, hot water storage tank and other associated equipment is eliminated.
  • Competitive Rates
    Due diligence studies indicate that on a life cycle basis, customers’ energy costs are similar to current energy costs within the community.

Corix and District Energy

For more information regarding Corix's extensive experience with district energy projects in Canada and the US, please visit our District Energy pages.