Close menu

It’s cheaper with decentralised systems

Energy revolution

Energy revolution

The German government aims to save 80 per cent of the primary energy consumption in the building sector by 2050. This means that suitable solutions need to be identified, especially in terms of the supply of heat and hot water. Why? Because this area accounts for some 30 % of the primary energy consumption in Germany.

The central issue:

centralised or decentralised?

The advantage of decentralised systems has been demonstrated in a recent study: in order to achieve an identical energy saving over a period of 20 years, an unrenovated detached house featuring decentralised heating and 168 m2 of living space requires € 14,757 less expenditure than an equivalent house with district heating supply. This corresponds to more than 61 euros a month.

Taking a long-term view

Choosing a suitable heat supply plays an important role in this regard – after all, once a decision has been made, this will have consequences for the following 20 years and beyond. In terms of energy and economics, the decisive factor is therefore whether the supply is to be provided via heat networks or decentralised systems.

Equal investment – higher savings

Final value of heating costs after 20 years for an unrenovated detached house (168 m2) following a heating upgrade relating to various heat supply systems.

The ‘final value of heat costs’ is determined using a complete financial plan and accounts for investment costs, running costs, price increases and the effects of interest. (Numerical values have been rounded) Source: table 63 from the study ‘Decentralised vs. centralised heat supply on the German heat market’ (‘Dezentrale vs. zentrale Wärmeversorgung im deutschen Wärmemarkt’); graphic: IWO

Future logic

In terms of performing an ecological comparison of the two approaches, only an individual calculation of the respective building situation will provide meaningful results. However, one thing is certain: CO2 emissions rise and fall depending on the sources used to generate the primary energy that is deployed. The expansion of renewable energies and the use of electricity for heat generation make a decisive contribution to reducing CO2 emissions.


The reduction of the primary energy factor for electricity to 1.1 and the high efficiency of the heat pumps make these systems fit for the future of decentralised supply, not only in detached and semi-detached houses but also in larger residential and commercial properties.

A look at the three key findings

  1. Giving general preference to heat networks is not justified in terms of either energy or economics.
  2. Decentralised systems usually achieve higher savings per euro spent.
  3. Only with a selection of heating systems supporting a range of technologies and energy carriers can the energy revolution be achieved in a cost effective and thus socially compatible manner.

Source: summary of the study ‘Decentralised vs. centralised heat supply on the German heat market

Ecodan systems offer a variety of application options

Decentralised, efficient and ready for use anywhere: Ecodan heat pumps