Heat cost allocators

An introduction for a metering system for individual heat costs.

Due to the historic construction technology related peculiarities in Estonia, the apartment and business buildings utilise a principle of heat measurement and metering, which divides the heat costs on the basis of the surface area available to the inhabitants of the building. In case of a heating system that does not facilitate the room-based regulation of heating, one has to deal with an inevitable solution, which at the same time creates an unjust system for those people, who would like to conserve energy, but still have to pay for the excessive heat costs resulting from the neighbours’ love for higher temperatures or wasteful attitude.

Heat cost allocators or individual heat cost metering technology enables to provide lower heat bills to energy-efficient inhabitants. In Estonia, the individual heat cost metering has achieved an average energy saving of 22% on the heat costs of a building, in all cases the application of the metering has not resulted in a rise in heat costs, and in exceptional cases, the savings have reached over 40%. For instance in Germany, this metering principle has been obligatory for all non-single-family-homes since 1981, also Denmark, Austria, Bulgaria and other European countries have joined this mandatory requirement. By this date, the individual heat costs allocation system is used for the metering of the thermal energy consumption of 15 million living and business rooms only in Germany.

At this point it is important to accept the following facts:

  • This is not a measurement system, but a cost allocation system, where the inputs are the temperature of each room, the temperature of the radiator, the radiator’s manufacturer’s heat output, the configuration parameters of the heating system etc.
  • Since the building has common heat costs in the stairways and the basements, the apartment association shall decide to what extent the heat entering the building shall be paid on the basis of the square meters, and the share that shall be divided up on the basis of the individual heat cost metering.
  • The locators located on each radiator shall forward the measured readings to the data centre located in the stairway, from where they shall be sent to the data processing server. The server shall be guided by the allocation model tuned to the heating project, and it shall produce an allocation of the consumption in the form of an invoice suiting the needs of the accounting of the apartment association.