District Heating Systems (DHS), also known as residual heat, can be described as a method by which thermal energy from a central source is distributed to residential, commercial and industrial consumers for use in space heating, water heating and process heating. It is proven to be a sustainable technology that is easy to operate and maintain with minimal operational and maintenance cost.
At QEC, thermal energy from the power plant is extracted and through a distribution system delivered to customers for their intended use. By doing so, customers are saving 10% or more on heating costs. Not only that, customers also notice a decrease in operation and maintenance costs, and extended life expectancy of their heating equipment.
DHS significantly reduces carbon emissions and our dependence on fossil fuels in the territory. Currently QEC has district heat systems on a commercial basis in Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet, Arviat, and Kugluktuk. This means local businesses, governments and organizations are using residual thermal energy to heat their offices. We are currently using our own DHS to heat QEC offices and garage spaces in Iqaluit, Sanikiluaq, Igloolik, Kugaaruk, Taloyoak, Cambridge Bay, and Coral Harbour. Without DHS, over 3 million liters of additional heating fuel would be required in Nunavut annually for space heating. This alternative energy system is allowing us to better utilize our imported fossil fuel while reducing our carbon emissions.
QEC is upgrading and renovating existing DHS systems and exploring future installations and expansions of DHS in different communities. This will provide opportunities for more customers to use DHS and cut down on heating costs.