District Heating Workshop Uncovers Positive Future and Five Key Takeaways

by Francesca

Following REHAU’s Building a Greener Future: Delivering High-Quality Heat Networks workshop at The Building Centre in London, industry-leading figures left with a positive outlook on the future of low carbon heat networks, with five key takeaways emerging from the event.

The workshop, held on 6 June 2023, saw REHAU bring together district heating experts to discuss industry challenges and solutions. Among the key topics covered were government funding, incoming heat network zoning, the Heat Network Technology Assurance Scheme (HNTAS), and best practice in design and installation of heat networks.

Steve Richmond, Head of Marketing & Technical at REHAU Building Solutions, chaired the workshop, with speakers from the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero, Fairheat, Therma-Mech, Switch2 and Sustainable Energy all delivering keynote speeches. Two interactive panel sessions were also held during the half-day event to allow delegates to ask speakers their opinions on a variety of topics.

On the success of the event, Steve said: “We decided to run this workshop because it’s vital that the industry can come together to learn from each other as we accelerate toward low carbon heat networks. Having spoken to the delegates and gathered their feedback, we’re very pleased with how the industry is reacting to some big challenges, and how positive the future looks for district heating.

“Two of the biggest topics covered that attracted a lot of attention and questions was about the upcoming HNTAS, and the upcoming heat network zoning. Our industry partners were brilliant in bringing these new initiatives to light, and we want to thank all our speakers for lending their time and sharing their knowledge at the workshop.”

REHAU’s event also saw the launch of the new Clip-Flex shroud system. Clip-Flex revolutionises the shroud market in that it gives up to 22.5° range of motion in all directions, allowing pipework to be angled as per the demands of the project, giving contractors far greater flexibility on site. This makes shroud installation easier and quicker than ever before.

Five key takeaways

Reflecting on his own five key takeaways from the event, Steve said:

  1. “There was a lot of interest in the Heat Network Technical Assurance Scheme (HNTAS) which is currently in development. Everyone recognises that there are some underperforming projects so the increased emphasis on quality assurance can only be a good thing.”
  2. “The UK district heating market momentum is clearly building – the capital funding is there, zoning is coming and policies such as the Future Homes Standard will help drive demand from developers.”
  3. “There was a good debate about how we both increase the number of trained contractors to install pipes but also ensure the high quality of pipe installations. Our new Clip-Flex system should go some way to solving both these challenges.”
  4. “There is a fine line between designing for future heat network capacity versus the risk of oversizing networks and the risk if that capacity never connects.”
  5. “There was an interesting question about how clients view district heating and it’s higher complexity versus installing gas boilers in each property and what can be done to educate clients and address any potential concerns they have.”

For more information about REHAU and its district heating solutions, please visit www.rehau.uk/districtheating

You may also like