DISTRICT HEATING IN CHURCHES
District heating is a common and cheap heat source. Most urban churches in areas where there has been district heating for many years are already connected. In some places, cities have evolved and grown around the neighbouring village churches. Some of these churches are not yet connected to district heating, but are still heated by oil or electric heating.
If the church is in an area where it is possible to connect to district heating, it is not permitted to replace the oil-fired boiler with a new oil-fired boiler. Connecting to district heating is not a requirement, but is an obvious solution.
If the church is heated using electricity, converting to district heating should be considered. It will imply a great investment, because the entire heating system must be replaced. Whether this is profitable, depends on how much the church is in use. If the church is in use several times a week, it will likely pay off.
Combined district heating and electric heating
Some urban churches have combined district heating and electric heating - district heating provides everyday heating and electric heating provides comfort heat associated with church services.
This can be a good solution, but the risk is that electric heating gradually "takes over" a growing portion of the heating because it is easier to control. Several churches experience that electric heating represents 60-70% of their total energy consumption, where it ideally should be 15-20%. District heating typically costs only 25 - 50% of the electricity price per kWh heat, so district heating should be the biggest part of the energy consumption.
The price of district heating varies from one district heating plant to another, but is typically between 0.50 to 1.00 kr. per kWh heat. In addition to this are fixed charges and maybe a penalty, if the cooling of the district heating water is not sufficient. The fixed charges are calculated in different ways, but will often be between 4,000 and 10,000 kr. annually.
When installing district heating, a connection fee is paid, the price of which varies from one district heating plant to another, typically 20,000 to 35,000 kr.
Saksild Church has installed district heating instead of oil-fired boilers. At the same time the heating system is converted from calorifier to convectorsunder the benches and along the walls.One of the challenges is finding room for enough convectors that are large enough, so that the church can be heated for the new temperatures (60 ˚C flow temperature and 30 ˚C return temperature).
Read more (in Danish):
The Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs' Heat Circular: https://www.retsinformation.dk/Forms/R0710.aspx?id=72628
Danish Energy Agency for district heating: http://sparenergi.dk/forbruger/varme/fjernvarme