In November last year, Brande Fjernvarme's chairman of the board, Henrik Kraglund, said that he considered renting district heating units to be the city's future.
At the time, the district heating company with 1,200 consumers was busy with a campaign to convert the city's remaining 800 oil and gas-heated households to district heating.
Part of the campaign was an offer that new consumers could choose to rent a district heating unit instead of paying for the installation themselves. And that offer, according to Henrik Kraglund, was met with great interest from the local area.
So large that Brande Fjernvarme expected that almost all consumers – new and old – would rent their district heating unit from the district heating supply in the future. And that expectation has not changed since then, emphasizes Henrik Kraglund today.
According to the chairman, the figures provide an obvious answer:
- We expected support of 75 percent but have reached over 90 percent. People are excited about the opportunity, and we've solved a problem for many people. Unfortunately, we have not been able to spread the offer to those who are already consumers, says Henrik Kraglund and explains:
- This is because there is no forging capacity for it to be possible. We have plenty of challenges in getting what we need in our conversion project. It is difficult, but we have promised the existing consumers that they will get the offer as soon as there is a capacity for it.
In the conversion project, it is also clear to trace the enormous support that Brande Fjernvarme has in the local environment. Because just like with the connection to the new rental solution, the response was overwhelming.
- All in all, we reach approximately 2,000 consumers with the project. We have almost got 100 percent support if we disregard the consumers who have geothermal heating, says Henrik Kraglund.
They are already busy with the roll-out of district heating to the many consumers in Brande who have agreed. The expectation is that the conversion project will be completed in 2023.
- I think the great support comes from the fact that you buy yourself security by becoming an established district heating provider. With us, the individual heat pump has generally been deprecated in areas heated with natural gas in advance. I believe that the reason for this is that with district heating, you have no costs for depreciation on the plant - and at the same time, there is a built-in future in the concept.
In Brande, like many other places, there has been a sudden interest in district heating during the energy crisis. And Henrik Kraglund has no doubt that this has had an impact on the acceptance of the project.
- Suddenly, hesitant people were ready to sign up for everyone. Something downright explosive happened - and it is also connected to the fact that the price for heating a standard house with natural gas has increased by as much as 20,000 in just one year, says Henrik Kraglund and adds:
- You earn that in a single year by switching to district heating, which makes good sense.
Translated from the DANSK FJERNVARME website.