How community energy works
Community energy systems do what cities do best. They share resources.
A community energy (or district energy) system generates energy needed for domestic heat and water in a central plant and distributes it through a network of pipes to multiple buildings in a neighbourhood or community.
This leads to lower energy costs, easier system maintenance, more fuel type flexibility and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, among other benefits.
For example, in a dense downtown community of 200 buildings, a community energy system means one central ‘boiler’ instead of 200 individual boilers.
Alternative energy sources
One of the main benefits of community energy is the flexibility to adapt to use renewable and locally available fuel sources. This means a neighbourhood is not reliant on one fuel source, such as fossil fuels.
Alternative energy sources include:
Carbon-based biological material derived mainly from plants.
Radiant heat and light captured from the sun.
Surplus industry heat
Waste heat from sources such as a data plant.
Waste materials generated by other industries, eg construction.
Internal heat generated and stored in the Earth.
Household waste water from sinks, showers, baths etc.