dcsimg District heating consultants - Ramboll UK Limited

District heating

In cold, urban climates, city-wide district heating systems are key to the cost-effective use of environmentally friendly, low-carbon heat sources. 
Man working on a section of piping for use in a district heating system.

As one of the world’s leading district heating consultancies, Ramboll has more than 30 years of experience from projects in more than 35 countries. Our services encompass all stages of planning, design, operation, maintenance and management; including technical, institutional, legal, as well as economic aspects. In recent years we have also actively engaged ourselves in several district cooling projects.

As cities aim to be carbon neutral, district heating and cooling systems become more important than ever. Our international market for these services is growing, not least due to a growing concern with climate change.

The I/S Fasan waste-to-energy plant in Fæstved, Denmark

Hot water district heating

A city-wide, low-temperature hot water district heating system is key to any low-carbon city. The system is cost-effective and uses efficient, carbon neutral heat sources that would otherwise be wasted.

The heat sources derive from CHP plants with heat accumulators, waste-to-energy plants, geothermal plants, biomass boilers, large-scale heat pumps and large-scale solar heating plants.

Two sections of district heat piping being placed in the ground.

Even for small settlements, district heating with thermal storage can be the key component of the most intelligent, cost-effective and carbon neutral heating for both existing and new buildings.

District heating steam and super-heated water

A special system for district heating, based on super-heated water or steam, is used mainly for industrial processes, but also in some cities and hospitals. Ramboll has extensive experience with these systems, including the design of pipe systems with a proven lifetime of more than 50 years. We also have experience in transforming these systems into more efficient, low-temperature systems.

The peak load station at Copenhagen airport

Combined heat and power

At Ramboll, our great experience of energy production facilities based on a variety of fuels is combined with our experience of district heating transmission systems and low-temperature district heating systems. This helps us maximise the environmental, social and economic benefits for both investors and consumers.

We offer our clients all services that are necessary for establishing optimised CHP plants, heat accumulators and district heating systems – from planning, design and procurement to implementation.

Our experience encompasses a wide range of CHP plants, including waste-to-energy, biogas and biomass plants.

Collection of the pipe sections used in district heating and cooling systems.

District cooling

Decentralised electric chillers in district cooling systems can often be replaced by less expensive systems that use cold seawater, groundwater or carbon-free thermal energy. Our experience in district cooling includes chilled water storage, district heating absorption heat pumps and decentralized cooling plants based on solar heating. Read more about our district cooling services

Heating installations in buildings

The efficiency of a city-wide heating system depends on its integration with low-temperature heating systems in buildings. We provide our clients with expertise in the design and operation of all facilities in the system, including building installations.

Read more about our sustainability services for buildings.


Further information

District Heating - Heat Storage Pits
Heat Storage Pits

In large district heating systems, a heat storage pit is a cheap energy source that can save peak loads and reduce the price of heating. Read our brochure on heat storage pits (online publication, opens in new window).

Integrated district heating in Copenhagen
Publication: Integrated district heating in Copenhagen

The district heating system in Greater Copenhagen is one of the largest city-wide district heating systems in the world. This publication provides a map of the system and presents the stakeholders.

Download publication on the district heating system in Copenhagen (pdf, 750 KB)


Front page of the brochure Community Energy guide (US)
Publication: Community energy – Planning, development and delivery (USA)

Municipal leaders across the U.S. face economic, social, and sustainability challenges which local energy production can address. Drawing on the experience of communities in the U.S. and abroad, this IDEA publication guides community leaders on championing local energy projects.

Download Community Energy Guide (US) (pdf, 4 MB)
Front page of the brochure Community Energy guide (UK)
Publication: Community energy – Urban planning for a low carbon future (UK)

This joint TCPA and CHPA guide is designed to help stakeholders in the UK public and private sectors understand policy support for low and zero carbon energy solutions. Drawing upon best practice the guide demonstrates effective energy strategies and helps planning for the delivery of community energy.

Download Community Energy Guide (UK) (pdf, 2 MB)


Front page of Community Energy Development Guide (Canada)
Publication: Community energy – Planning, development and delivery - Strategies for thermal networks (Canada)

District energy is well established in many Canadian cities. It provides reliable, efficient, affordable and clean thermal energy from locally controlled and highly efficient central plants. This Community Energy Development Guide is a guide to municipal leaders across Canada.

Download Community Energy Development Guide (Canada) (pdf, 2.74 MB)

Thumbnail with pipes. Click to start video on district heating in Greater Copenhagen
Video: District heating – following the Copenhagen example
Supplying heat to more than 1 million people, the district heating system in Greater Copenhagen is one of the most sophisticated district heating systems in the world. Meet Project Director Jens Overgaard from Ramboll’s Energy division who will guide you through the system and show you how it is used as an inspiration for international projects.
Watch the interview with Jens Overgaard


Ramboll. Anthony Riddle. Image courtesy of Paulina Sobczak Photography.
Anthony Riddle
Associate Director
T+44 20 7631 5291