What is E2District?
E2District is a three year European Commission Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation project formally entitled 'Energy Efficient Optimised District Heating and Cooling (DHC).

With 30% of the EU's energy needs expected to be fulfilled by District Heating & Cooling (DHC) & Combined Heat & Power (CHP) by 2030, E2District is paving the way  by developing the tools necessary to support a Holistic Integrated Approach across the whole lifecycle of DHC operation (design, retrofitting, operation) while keeping prosumer engagement firmly in the loop. 

Who is E2District?
Key stakeholders within the European District Heating & Cooling (DHC) value chain working together with the aim of developing an innovative set of tools for the optimisation of energy efficiency in the DHC industry.​​​
A Bright Future for District Heating & Cooling Industry
District heating and cooling is a promising energy solution for satisfying urban heat and cooling demand and is expected to play an important role in future sustainable energy systems. District energy systems which pipe steam, and hot or cold water, around a district from a central location are being used in a variety of cities worldwide because of their higher energy efficiency which can significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of cooling and heating. This can result in improved air quality, and, where district systems use renewable power sources, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and energy imports, increasing the resilience of cities to fuel price shocks.

According to Heat Roadmap Europe, District Heating and Combined Heat & Power will fulfil 30% of the EU’s heating energy needs by 2030 rising to 50% by 2050. Widespread adoption of DHC systems in Europe is expected to lead to cost savings of approx. 14 billion, the creation of an additional 220,000 jobs and further integration of RES by 2050.


Market Barriers
The main barriers in the current state-of-DHC-practice include:
  • Lack of proper tools to support the necessary holistic optimisation of the whole life-cycle of a DHC system in all Concept, Design and Operation phases
  • Inflexibility of existing DHC business models affecting both Dynamic Energy Optimisation of Assets and Demand Response to Variable Operating and Supply-side Constraints
  • Limited customer engagement in the DHC energy ‘market’
  • Limited support for future distributed generation and energy exchange between consumers and producers.

E2District - Tackling the Barriers
E2District is surmounting these barriers by developing the tools* necessary to support a Holistic Integrated Approach across the whole lifecycle of DHC operation (design, retrofitting, operation) while keeping prosumer engagement firmly in the loop. 

From Stakeholders' Requirements: Project Work Areas


​E2District’s innovative tools, developed by taking all stakeholders across the DHC value chain into consideration, are providing the means for the optimal design and operation of individual districts and the exploitation of novel business models designed to take advantage of the dynamic nature of the domain enabling greater efficiency and cost-saving across the industry.

*E2District Tools
  • Innovative district simulation capabilities
  • Advanced supervisory control
  • Model-based prosumer engagement
  • Novel business models for exploiting the dynamic nature of the domain

E2District’s Holistic Integrated Approach (District Management and Decision Support Framework) for optimised DHC operations is currently being tested in E2District demo sites in Ireland, Germany and Bulgaria with expectations of delivering 30% energy reduction**, indicating that eventual widespread adoption of similar smart district heating and cooling infrastructures could deliver significant efficiencies and reduced costs over the long-term:
  • Decrease in primary energy supply, especially fossil fuels and CO2 emissions, resulting in less fuel required for heating needs
  • Decrease in annual energy costs
  • Creation of jobs in the DHC sector
  • More renewable energy sources being employed
  • Achieving EU2020 energy efficiency goals​

** (i)    District Simulation Platform as Asset Portfolio Decision Support Tool to optimise
              DHC asset configuration and utilisation > 5% energy reduction
     (ii)  Adaptive control and optimisation methods for flexible production, storage,
             demand asset,  and system fault diagnostic for cost effective maintenance > 10-
             20% energy reduction
     (iii) People Behaviour Demand Response introducing additional behaviour flexibility
             to the system by keep human user in the loop > 5% energy reduction

E2District Consortium

The E2District consortium comprises five organisations based in three European countries and represents key stakeholders within the DHC value chain from equipment manufacturers (UTC/UTRC), DHC operators (VEOLIA/VERI) to building systems integrators (ACCIONA), as well as centres of excellence in the area of building modelling and simulation (CSTB), and information and communication technology (CIT). The business units of United Technologies and Veolia have offices in most European countries while Acciona operates construction projects in a number of European countries as well as having facilities management operations in locations throughout Europe. ​At an industrial level, the partners represent the whole value chain, from construction to operation to end user, of district heating and cooling systems. ​The consortium, as a whole, combines all the areas of expertise necessary for the successful execution of the E2District project.
About the Consortium

H2020 Sister Projects

Call identifier: H2020-EE-2015-RIA
Topic: EE-13-2015
Technology for district heating and cooling

Contact Us

Telephone: +353 21 4335165               Email:  [email protected]