Ground source heating

A ground source heat pump can be a good solution for parish community centres and other buildings of a certain size. In small cemetery facilities and very small parish community centres, investment costs are too large compared to the heating needed. If possible, it is usually recommended to get district heating rather than establish a ground source heat pump.

Which buildings are suitable?

The building should be reasonably well insulated and have normal density for it to make sense to install a ground source heat pump. The flow temperature must be kept as low as possible to keep daily operation costs down. Underfloor heating in most of the building is optimal, but not a requirement.

If there are radiators, it is important that they are sufficiently large. This will normally be the case in an older building, which has been renovated and reinsulated by newer standards, and where the old radiators are preserved.

If the parish community centre is used only occasionally, it may make sense to lower the temperature a few degrees when the building is not in use. This requires a high insulation degree and sufficient radiator surface area, so that the building can be heated to normal room temperature in a relatively short amount of time using ground heat only.

Water tubes (ground collectors)

A ground source heat pump requires a ground area of some size for placing the water tubes. This can in some cases be a challenge. A rule of thumb is that about 50 m of tubes corresponding to an area of 60 - 70 m2 land per installed kW heat pump must be installed. The recommended tube length also depends a lot on the soil conditions.

Water tubes may not be buried in a cemetery, so there must be an appropriate area available outside the church yard. Please note that the local museum must always be informed before starting any digging work. It is likely that there may be remains of archaeological or historical interest in the area close to the church, if the church is a medieval church. If the museum wants to make excavations, this will delay and increase the cost of the project.


Before the establishment of a ground source heat pump a permission from the municipality is always required.


An annual inspection is mandatory.


Heating typically costs 60 to 65 øre per kWh when heating the parish community centre with a ground source heat pump. This is a slightly higher price than for a parsonage, because a reduction in electricity tax only applies to private homes (in Denmark). Electricity from a pump in the parish community centre is paid at full cost.

There are other rules for the electricity used in cemetery facilities. A partial refund of VAT and electricity tax can be obtained, if electricity consumption is measured separately using a Submeter.

There will typically be a saving of 40 - 50% when converting to a ground source heat pump from an oil-fired boiler. If heating with natural gas, normally no significant savings will be achieved.


A new parish community centre with a well-functioning ground source heat pump – outside the district heating area.

Read more (in Danish):

List of heat pumps:

The Heat Pump System:

The Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs' Heat Circular:

More info:

Calculate the price of heating:

EcoDesign requirements: