Making the most of your District Heating

Lerwick district heating is one of the cheapest forms of energy in the islands. Our unit price is 6.9 pence a kw/hr which is much cheaper than the lowest electricity tariff. However we still sometimes hear of customers who are unhappy with their bills. Here at Sheap we want all our customers to use our energy as efficiently and as economically as possible. 

Sometimes customers forget that we don’t own the heat exchangers, equipment and systems that take our energy and move it around a property. We deliver our energy to a customer’s heat exchanger and the rest is up to the property owner.  This may be a private individual, a business, a landlord or a housing association but this is the party who owns and maintains the internal heating system. If you’re not making the most of our cheap heat or are concerned about your usage give us a call and our experienced technicians can usually advise how much you should be using and if savings can be made.

To get the best from district heating you should ensure your house is well insulated. Then you should arrange for a plumber to service your heat exchanger every 1 -2 years. You should also ask your plumber to check the rest of your system including your radiators and pipework at the same time. Don’t just check for leaks – make sure that any air in the system is bled and that the flow around your property is also examined. We can provide contact numbers for plumbers familiar with district heating if you call our office.

You can also experiment to see what is the most efficient way to heat your home. Our experience suggests that older properties can sometimes benefit from keeping the heating permanently on at a low constant temperature in rooms that are being used, rather than switching off and on. The same can apply to homes with underfloor heating. Smaller well insulated homes or new build properties should set the timer to switch off at bedtime and come back on before breakfast at the desired temperature. If you would like advice on this please give us a call and we can talk you through some options. Our energy is cheap but we also want you to use it as efficiently as possible.

You shouldn’t ever need to change out district heating for an alternative energy source unless you’re not using your own heating system properly. Because district heating is already cheap it would take a long time to get an investment back on any other form of heating. 

We very much support air source heat pumps and would recommend them for any rural house changing out from oil heating or electricity. They work best in modern and new homes with underfloor heating. Retrofitting on larger and older properties is more challenging. If you already have a district heating connection you are unlikely to generate significant savings by switching to an air source heat pump.

The easiest way to achieve savings on your district heating supply is to service and maintain your internal heating system and equipment and use our energy as efficiently as you can. Please call us if you have any questions on using our heat more productively.

Posted on 8th June 2021

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