Enabling customer-centric innovations in District Heating

Enabling customer-centric innovations in District Heating Enabling customer-centric innovations in District Heating
Diehl Metering

By implementing a fixed network and supporting an innovative “motivation tariff”, Diehl Metering has helped Danish utility Brønderslev Forsyning A/S to reach new highs in energy efficiency. The utility has also strengthened its reputation as a District Heating pioneer while increasing customer satisfaction.

Brønderslev Forsyning A/S is responsible for district heating and water supply in the Danish city of Brønderslev. Thanks to its “District Heating of the Future” concept, the utility is a pioneer in smart energy, generating power and district heating through its own combined heat and power unit.

We initially partnered with Brønderslev Forsyning A/S to address inefficiencies in its network. At the time, the Danish supplier was confronted with high return temperatures in its network, indicating that many households were not properly using the district heating water provided to them. This was due to consumers with disadvantageous heating behavior – known as “bad coolers” – or because the settings on their heating system were not optimized. 

Network upgrade

To address these challenges, we helped Brønderslev Forsyning A/S implement an innovative Fixed Network solution for the fully automated reading of more than 5,000 SHARKY 775 thermal energy meters. With manual reading now a thing of the past, consumers could be sure that billing was always accurate.

In order to provide intelligent leak protection for consumers, we also installed SHARKY FS 473 ultrasonic flow sensors in the return pipe of each house. This allows flow rates in the flow and return pipes to be compared. If there is a deviation, the SHARKY meters sets off a leakage alarm. Consumers can opt to receive the alarm themselves via email or text message if the leak is affecting them.

In addition, Brønderslev Forsyning A/S uses our IZAR data management software to identify high return temperatures, which may be caused by “bad coolers”. It can then advise consumers to adopt behavior that reduces return temperatures, thereby boosting energy efficiency and reducing billing for the household.

A pioneering pricing model

To further increase network efficiency and customer satisfaction, Brønderslev Forsyning A/S recently introduced a “motivation tariff”. With this system, consumers who do not sufficiently use the energy of the district heating water, and are therefore responsible for high return temperatures, have to pay a surcharge. They can follow their household consumption and return temperatures on our IZAR@HOME smartphone app, enabling them to take action and no longer pay the surcharge.

Thanks to the combination of the motivation tariff and IZAR@HOME app, Brønderslev Forsyning A/S benefits from a win-win situation whereby consumers modify their behavior or optimize their heating system to avoid paying the surcharge and achieve savings, which in turns drives greater efficiency in the district heating network.

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