Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the main elements of a District Energy System?

The central boiler plant is fuelled by natural gas. Hot water and heating are supplied on separate systems, which enables economic operation in the summer months. Heating water from the central plant is pumped around the building to supply each apartment separately. Heating is available ‘on demand’. Local control in each apartment enables residents to easily set their time schedules and temperatures to match their own requirements.

2. How do I operate the heating system?

The heating system is operable via the thermostat located on the wall inside the door of each apartment. The operating instructions for this unit can be found in the information booklet supplied to each apartment. Alternatively, you can download the manuals from our website.

3. How do I control the temperature?

The temperature is controlled via a thermostat located on the wall inside the door of each apartment. The operating instructions for this unit can be found in the information booklet supplied to each apartment.

4. How are meter readings taken?

Meter readings are recorded for individual apartments via a central data logger located within the plant room of the apartment complex. Therefore, access to apartments is not required to take individual meter readings and readings will be actual recordings of units consumed and not based on estimated units of energy consumption.

5. What is involved in the billing process?

Bills will be issued bi-monthly based on the kWh energy consumption per apartment at the standard billing rate. Bills will be issued to owner/occupiers as named on the application for supply. The amount on each bill is due for payment 14 days from when the bill is issued.

6. Who can I contact to report a problem with my heating or if I have a bill enquiry?

Frontline has a 24 hours call-out facility available for emergency service and breakdowns. Call-outs to apartments are billed as per the schedule of charges provided on the contract documents.

7. What is meant by the standing charge?

The standing charge covers all related charges for:
Billing
Credit Control
Administration
Service Provision
Operation and Maintenance of the district heating system

8. What difference does a district heating system does to me?

One difference is property value; apartments operating a district heating scheme will receive a higher energy rating under the Dwellings Energy Assessment Procedure operated by Sustainable Energy Ireland. Economy. The system is generally cheaper to run than an equivalent individually heated apartment system. There are little or no maintenance costs for the individual user and you only pay for what you use. The system is inherently safer than a heating system where gas boilers are installed throughout the building. Future proofing. The system is such that as new technology becomes available it is possible to incorporate new sources of heating in the future.

9. How does a district heating system work?

A district heating system operates by burning fuel in a large central boiler which produces hot water. The hot water generated by the large boiler is then circulated around the development to each resident’s HIU (Heat Interface Unit). Depending on whether the resident requires heating or hot water, the HIU will allow this hot water to exchange heat to the apartment’s circuit. Once the demand is satisfied, or if the resident does not require any heat or hot water, the HIU does not allow any hot water to pass. The resident is therefore billed by the amount of heat added to their heating and hot water circuit, essentially you are only billed for what you consume. The water from the HIU then returns to the central boiler, whereby it is heated up and the process begins again.

10. How is my unit rate of heat determined?

The cost of heat is determined by calculating the average cost of gas consumed during the year*1 and dividing this by the overall system’s efficiency*2. Depending on the system efficiency and the cost of gas, it will dictate the cost of heat to the residents*3.
Frontline uses an independent energy broker to guarantee the most competitive gas rate. Frontline also has a dedicated Engineering Department who generates the annual efficiency reports and proposes efficiency upgrades to the management company. This combination of trying to increase the site efficiency and reduce the cost of gas, aspires to reduce cost of heat to the resident.

*1 The reason why a full year is taken into consideration, is to take account the variation in costs due to high consuming (winter) and low consuming (summer) periods throughout the year. By considering both high and low bills relative to the consumption, a seasonal or average cost of gas can be determined. This can be illustrated by the following expression.

*2 The overall system efficiency takes the following into consideration:
Seasonal Boiler Efficiency
Boiler Standing Losses
Distribution Standing Losses
All thermal losses between the boiler and HIU
This can be illustrated by the following expression.

*3 The average cost of heat is therefore determined using both figures described above. This can be illustrated by the following expression.

E.g. If the annual unit cost of gas was € 0.06 / kWh and the system is operating at 50% efficiency, the resultant cost of heat would be € 0.12 / kWh to the resident.

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