What is District Energy?
The energy that B&D Energy will initially generate, distribute and supply will be from solar panels and then by Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generators. These use an engine that runs on natural gas which drives an electrical generator to produce electricity. This is exactly the same as the huge power stations across the country BUT once you start sending electricity for hundreds of miles from the power stations to your home, there are huge losses and therefore the whole process is inefficient. Power stations also are, in themselves, very inefficient – they waste large amounts of energy often in the form of heat. In a CHP system, this heat is recovered and used to heat water which we use to heat your home.
Altogether this makes for a much more efficient way of generating energy. This energy then comes to your home via a network of underground pipes and cables (in those areas where we supply electricity) which we call District Energy.
This means that CHP is an efficient and therefore comparatively low carbon technology. Using natural gas in this efficient way means that much less harm is being done to the environment. When our CHP equipment needs to be repaired or maintained, we will always have sufficient conventional boilers as backup and spare capacity to cover the energy your home or business needs.
In the future, as technology progresses, we plan to add in to the District Energy network other sources of energy such as fuel cells, solar and energy from waste.
Properties on our schemes do not have a mains gas supply. All your heating and hot water is supplied by the District Energy Scheme.
The hot water we generate is pumped around our very efficient underground pipe network and into your home. This hot water arrives in your home at the large box (it may be white and metal or insulated in black polystyrene) in your property called the Heat Interface Unit (HIU). Inside the HIU the heat is transferred to your home’s heating and hot water pipework, providing what you need. You can read about how the heat is used in your home here.
Customers on some of our schemes are also supplied with electricity from us. A proportion of the electricity we have efficiently generated is distributed locally on our “Private Wire Network”. However, we do not generate all of the electricity that is needed so we are also connected to the public electricity network. Therefore, we expect our supplies to be a resilient as those from the public supply network and you always have our Guaranteed Standards of Service.
B&D Energy is authorised to supply electricity by exemption under article 3(1)(c) of the Electricity (Class Exemptions from the Requirement for a Licence) Order 2001 and is therefore not subject to the same licence conditions and obligations under the Electricity Act 1989 which B&D Energy would be have been subject to if it was a licensed supplier.
All usage for heat and electricity is metered. This meter is automatically read so we don’t need to visit your property. The electricity meter itself may be in your buildings ‘riser’. In this case, you will have inside your property a device that is wirelessly connected to your meter and will show you how much energy you are currently using and some historical information too. If you enter the tariff information as shown in the Owl manual, then you can see approximate costs too. It does not show your actual meter reading.