Increasing energy efficiency does not only mean reducing your energy consumption. It could also mean that consumers change their consumption behaviour without losing any comfort.
The Italian Rescoop member SEV developed together with a local district heating plant (serving more than 2.500 customers with a total heat demand of 150 GWh) an optimization concept for heat supply.
When planning, constructing a 135-km wide district heating network it was unclear how the heat demand will look like. Even more difficult to predict for mountain areas where winters can be mild or chilly. So, to make sure that every customer will be served with sufficient heat all calculations contained buffers which is good. However, that also means that some systems got over dimensioned and are no longer operating efficiently. For that reason, the district heating plant offered a new tariff model to incentivise proper energy use.
The cooperative prepared a quick energy tool box for the customers with measures like ventilating radiators, re-dimensioning buffer storage, shifting the heating load to other hours etc. This check-up was made by local plumbers. Additionally, the plumbers where briefed by the district heating plant and provided with a new tariff model. If investments needed to be made client and expert could easily calculate the savings and confront it with the one-time expenses.
With the new system optimal behaviour is promoted with a potential (reachable) discount of € 360,- /year, nearly 30% off. The savings for the district heating plant in total (through higher energy efficiency, increased coefficient of performance) were also at 30%. A win-win situation has been created for consumer, heating plant and the local plumbing companies.