In a significant share of households the heating and/or cooling demands are satisfied by district heating/cooling (DHC) networks (e.g. in Iceland, Denmark, Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden, Finland and Northern China around 50% of building stock is connected to DHC networks). Although increased evidence from monitoring data shows that 50-60% of all building heating/cooling systems have faulty operation leading to higher volume flows and return temperatures and in consequence to un-necessary heating/cooling use and in-efficient operation of DHC systems, today optimization of DHC focuses on the system side and does not integrate building systems. Solving the challenge of demand side management is decidedly technological, yet the success of new initiatives/ solutions is increasingly hinged on resident/user engagement as shifts in expectations as well as in roles and responsibilities needs attention.
The overarching Annex aim is to provide a comprehensive knowledge and tools for successful activation of the demand management of buildings in DHC networks. The work of the Annex will investigate both the social and technical challenges and how these can be overcome for various building typologies, climate zones and local conditions as well as how digitalisation of heating/cooling demand facilitates the demand response activation.