Heat networks as flexible grid assets

This project aimed to use heating demand variability, and the way buildings store heat, to help heat networks benefit from changes in energy prices and provide flexibility.

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Summary: impacts and findings

The project showed how enhanced energy management systems for heat networks could use the way buildings heat up and cool down to flex heating demand, increase efficiency and deliver benefit from cost savings. 

Project aims and approach

Heat pumps and energy-efficient combined heat and power plants are increasingly being used to provide heating for heat networks.

This project specifically investigated the way buildings and individual homes on heat networks heat up and cool down, to understand how the timing and amount of heat delivered across the network can be flexed whilst maintaining comfort levels.

Using machine learning, this project aimed to use the variability of heating demands and the way buildings store heat to enable these heating systems to take advantage of changes in energy prices, cut costs and provide flexibility services to the electricity grid.

Watch a short introduction to the project.




April 2020 to December 2021

Achievements and barriers

The project successfully demonstrated the savings that could be achieved by ‘load shifting’ the time of heating demand as part of an enhanced heat network management system.

In March 2023, Minibems merged with heat network equipment supplier Evinox, and the combined company gained growth capital to cement and advance its position in the energy-efficient heat networks sector.


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