Dublin District Heating System

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What is District Heating?

District Heating (DH) are thermal energy networks that distributing hot water through insulated dual (supply and return) pipe lines to serve commercial, residential, institutional and industrial energy needs for space heating, hot water, space cooling and industrial purposes. DH systems allow heat energy as distinguished from fuel to be bought and sold as a commodity.

DH systems offer advantages in terms of higher energy efficiencies, reduced consumption of energy resources and are fully compatible with European and National policies and objectives for carbon dioxide reduction, energy efficiency, security of energy supply, sustainability and competitiveness.  DH can also offer capital cost savings and reduced operating and maintenance costs to commercial and residential customers.

Dublin City Council District Heating Corporate Policy

Dublin City Council has previously committed to progressing a Dublin District Heating System, initially focused in the general area of the Dublin Docklands and Poolbeg Peninsula in numerous plans and reports.

  • Dublin City Development Plan 2011 – 2017
  • Dublin City Development Plan 2016 - 2022
  • North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) Planning Scheme 2014.
  • Poolbeg West Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) Planning Scheme 2019.
  • Dublin Waste to Energy Project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Planning application.
  • Climate Change Strategy for Dublin City 2008 - 2012
  • Dublin City Council Climate Change Action Plan 2019-2024

Reports on District Heating for Dublin

In 2006 and 2007, engineering consultants carried out a feasibility study for the development of a Dublin District Heating System.  This feasibility study was partly funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and is called “District heating for Dublin Feasibility Study July 2008”.

A brochure for the “Dublin District Heating System” was published by the City of Dublin Energy Management Agency (Codema) and gives a very good outline of what is District Heating and how it works.

Dublin City Spatial Energy Demand Analysis – June 2015” prepared by Codema, which shows 75% of Dublin City has heat demands suitable for DH.  This is important as heat demand mapping is always the first step and best practice in planning for DH and is recommended by all EU/UNEP guides to DH.  It also shows that DH feasibility is not confined to the Docklands.

In 2005 Codema, on behalf of Dublin City Council, began the process to develop the “Dublin City Sustainable Energy Action Plan 2010 - 2020”.  Dublin City Council has taken the initiative to produce the Action Plan in order to reduce Dublin’s carbon footprint and to become an energy-smart and efficient city.  The Action Plan sets out and evaluates how we can reduce energy consumption in areas such as planning, transport, residential and commercial buildings, while incorporating the use of renewable energy.

There are a number of reports presented to Dublin City Council’s Environmental Strategic Policy Committee, links to the most recent reports are below;

Climate Action Fund

The Irish Government mentioned the DDHS project in the National Development Plan 2040 (link https://www.gov.ie/pdf/?file=https://assets.gov.ie/19240/62af938dce404ed...)  which was published in February 2018, included in that Plan was the establishment of the Climate Action Fund (CAF) (link https://www.dccae.gov.ie/en-ie/climate-action/topics/climate-action-fund...).  In November 2018 it was announced that the Project was successful in achieving an allocation of up to €20 million for the DDHS.  We are currently working through the validation stage of this process with the Department on a number of items.

Investment to date

DCC has already invested in elements of a district heating network in Dublin.


Other works by Developers


A new road is being constructed alongside the 3 Arena (Point Theatre) under Planning Number DSDZ3630/15, District Heating pipes are being installed as part of these works.

Where do we go from here?

The Project Team have been working closely with Danish District Heating advisors, Codema (Dublin’s Energy Agency) and the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) to develop a Project Delivery Strategy, the key components of this are set out below.

Business Delivery Approach

DCC advertised on e-tenders in October 2018 a ‘Market Soundings’ document to solicit market feedback in order to define various aspects of the project and understand the role external parties could have.  Following this exercise, and an analysis of options, it was decided to progress with a Joint Venture (JV) procurement option to assist DCC with the delivery of the project.

Current On-going Works

Preliminary design is currently being carried out on the district heating network, and some site investigation is being planned to inform this design.  Detailed Design is being carried out for the ‘Irish Glass Bottle’ and ‘Fabrizia’ sites within the Poolbeg West Strategic Development Zone, to help ensure these sites are district heating ready.

Technical Advisor

A Technical Advisor is being procured to support DCC with the procurement of the JV project partner and with the completion of the planning and licensing for the project as well as providing technical district heating and design services.  An advertisement was posted on on etenders as RFT 155899 on 31/08/2019, and can be found at the link below.  


Legal Advisor

The Legal Advisor will advise and assist as required on all legal aspects of the Project, including the procurement of the Joint Venture opportunity

Technical Details for Developers

The Technical Details for Developers document outlines technical specifications which can be used as a basis to be compliant with the planning condition to be district heating enabled.  They provide a guide to the installation requirements of all developments, including the specific standards to adhere to.

Some relevant links

Information updated September 2019

For more information

Dublin District Heating System, Technical Services Division,

Block 2, Floor 4, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8.

Email: ddhs@dublincity.ie