With the expansion of the district heating connections from currently 75,000 to 100,000 households by 2025, the air in Graz is to be substantially improved further. Graz is thus making a quantum leap in improving the quality of its air and environment.
The focus is particularly on contaminated areas
Zones that have a tendency to higher contamination with particulate matter were selected by the urban planning department and by the environmental office in coordination with Department 15 Energy, Housing, Technology of the province of Styria and of Energie Graz.
The structures of the new district heating connection areas are also different: In some of them the buildings are more densely concentrated and here the environmentally harmful heaters have to be retrofitted. Others in turn have primarily conversion areas in which former industrial areas have to be converted into residential and living areas. And new development areas are also included in the statutory district heating connection mandate – which means that there is an obligation here for district heating connection. In practice, only district heating systems are permitted in the case of newly constructed residential units.
- Mayor Mag. Siegfried Nagl: “The city of Graz is pursuing the ambitious goal of increasing the number of district heating connections in Graz from currently 75,000 to 100,000 by 2025: This then corresponds to around two thirds of all Graz households! From a customer’s perspective, there are primarily three main criteria for this source of heat: the guaranteed reliability of supply, the price stability and the provision of heat from green sources wherever possible.”
- For city councillor responsible for the environment Mag.a Judith Schwentner, the expansion of district heating is the biggest and most successful climate protection project of the city of Graz.
Energie Graz with investment worth millions
Energie Graz, which always supports the sustainability targets of the city of Graz, has big plans. After around 31 million euros were already invested in the city’s energy supply in 2019, work is now underway to achieve the common goal of increasing the share of alternative energy in the district heating supply to 50 per cent, as the two managing directors MMag. Werner Ressi and Boris Papousek announced.
Energie Graz not only safeguards the heat supply of the city of Graz but also deals with the attainment of the energy and environment targets. District heating is a resource-saving and emission-free source of energy. The heat originates from highly efficient combined heat and power systems and state-of-the-art peak-load boilers in the Graz metropolitan region and from industrial waste heat and from large-scale thermosolar plants.
For the next five years, another just under 70 million euros of investments are envisaged in the expansion of district heating and in alternative supply systems. The total amount invested for district heating between 2007 and 2024 thus amounts to around 200 million euros.
Expansion and concentration
The pipe network will be expanded particularly in Liebenau, Straßgang and in the developing city district of Reininghaus. Households that convert to a new district heating system within the framework of the residential concentration will only pay half the heating costs in each of the first two years. This promotion by Energie Graz will be carried out in direct sales in cooperation with the facility managements.