Disquiet among Danish city’s residents over Apple district heating deal

Whilst cities continue to take the lead on district heating development, the Danish town of Viborg is unhappy about what they believe is a lack of transparency surrounding a planned data centre, which had been supposed to provide district heating for residents. Indeed, in the UK, the consumer watchdog, Which?, has been calling for consumer protection and it seems like the residents in Denmark would welcome it.

On the back of the recent UNEP report promoting district energy, this is one of those difficult issues that needs to be addressed in the modern 21st century schemes.

It’s very likely that the town is paying the price for being one of the early movers in the integration of data centre development and district heating. Many have been supportive of the concept of capturing purged heat from high density computers for the benefit of those living nearby and high latitude countries remain attractive to the likes of Apple where they can reduce costs of overheating with lower ambient temperatures. Equally, local residents in these high latitude towns demand heat to warm homes and businesses. Sounds like a win-win. Except it’s clear that unless there is transparency over who pays for, and who owns, what there will be legal and financial challenge.

You can read my thoughts on ‘4th Generation Heat Networks‘ and an earlier blog on transparency in district and communal heat network data.

Source: Disquiet among Danish city’s residents over Apple district heating deal

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2 thoughts on “Disquiet among Danish city’s residents over Apple district heating deal

  1. Andy, there is regulation of heat supply in Denmark with similarities to the gas and electricity regulations in the UK with regard to customer protection. The main difference is that heat supply is essentially not for profit in Denmark and this seems closely policed by the regulator.

    In addition, all heat customers have a right to attend the supplier annual meeting and raise issues.

    I know nothing about the case that you raise, but there should be existing mechanisms in Denmark to tackle issues such as you report.

    Ian Manders, UK policy advisor on energy in buildings, Danish embassy, London

  2. Representatives of the UK’s district heating industry responded to this week to unfavourable coverage given to it by the BBC’s Rip Off Britain television programme.

    The episode in question, aired on the 15 September 2015, looked at a district heating scheme in London where residents expressed concerns with the reliability of the scheme and the affordability of their energy bills. http://www.cospp.com/articles/2015/09/heating-industry-responds-to-unfavourable-bbc-coverage.html?eid=295179875&bid=1183521

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