District Energy Systems (DES) are thermal grids that distribute heating and cooling by transporting hot and cold water to various buildings in a community. Buildings on DES have no boilers, chillers or cooling towers. All of their heating and cooling is provided by the DES.
DES heat and cool buildings using less energy sources than conventional boilers and chillers. The energy savings come from higher overall efficiency, utilization of waste heat, and taking advantage of renewable energy (such as biomass or solar thermal).
Having a thermal grid in a community allows it to easily adopt renewable energy sources that would be difficult to implement in individual buildings. In addition is makes it possible to begin utilizing local energy sources and keep valuable energy dollars inside the community.
For the building owner, eliminating complicated heating and cooling equipment helps save on upfront capital costs and makes the building easier to operate and manage in the future. In addition by connecting to a DES the building is seen as committing to environmental sustainability.