District heat and district cooling
District heating is the most common form of heating in Finland. It is a natural and reliable heating method in densely built areas. District heating has been produced in Finland since the early 1950s.
It is available in almost all towns and population centres. About 2.6 million Finns live in houses heated by district heat. District heating accounts for almost 50 per cent of the total heating market. The more densely built the area is and the larger the buildings, the more economical district heating is. Almost 95% of apartment buildings and most public and commercial buildings are connected to the district heating network. In single-family houses, a good 6% of the heating energy comes from district heat. In the largest towns, the market share of district heating is more than 90%.
The superior energy efficiency and environmental compatibility of district heating are based especially on the fact that district heating utilises heat energy generated in electricity production (combined heat and power generation) and as waste heat from industrial and other processes, etc., which would otherwise be wasted.
District cooling can be compared with district heating with the exception that in district cooling the extra heat from the customer is transmitted to the energy supplier’s district cooling water.