District heating information (Dundee)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is district heating?

District heating is a system that distributes heat generated from one main boiler house via a network of insulated pipes into all flats within the block.

What are the benefits of district heating?

Heat and hot water are available all day every day. It is more efficient and economical to run than electric storage heating so you can expect lower heating bills.

What is a boiler house?

The main boiler house is basically a large room or building which houses the gas-boilers which provide the heat for the hot water that is distributed to individual flats.

How does a district heating system work?

Hot water is pumped from the main boiler house through a network of insulated pipes to individual properties to supply heat and hot water. Each property has an energy meter to measure use.

What heating is in place within my home?

You have a typical central heating system with radiators fitted in all rooms. Each flat has an individual heat-exchanger which takes the place of a boiler. You also have a storage tank located in the kitchen. NB there is no gas supply to your home – gas is restricted to the boiler house and the only thing that is delivered to your flat, according to your demand, is hot water

How do I control my heating?

You have a central heating timer that you can use to control when the heating and hot water come on and go off and each radiator is fitted with its own thermostatic valve.

What is a thermostatic radiator valve (TRV)?

Thermostatic radiator valves are fitted to individual radiators and they have a range of settings which you can choose according to how warm you wish the room to be. Like all radiators, once it reaches its set temperature, the TRV reduces the flow of water to the radiator and cuts off.

How do I pay for heating and hot water?

All flats have their own prepayment energy meters There are several easy and accessible methods of obtaining credit.

How is the charge calculated?

The heat charge is based on the cost to the Council of buying gas and managing and administrating the metering system. The current charge is 8p per kWh all in – there are no standing charges so all tenants pay according to their individual use. The cost compares favourably to the cost of gas but we need to review it annually to ensure we are covering our costs. At any given time, you can check to see how much credit you have on your meter.

By telephone

You can make a Credit or Debit card payment over the phone by calling Energy Billing on 01623 541 401 during office hours ie Monday – Friday, 9.00‑5.00.

By standing order

You can set up a monthly standing order by contacting Energy Billing on 01623 880 949 and asking for a Standing Order Mandate.


Tenants can make payments online by visiting the Energy Billing website at http://energybilling.co.uk. Every address has its own log-in and password which you can obtain from….

By Paypoint

You should have been issued with a small laminated card (see attached sheet) which you can take with you and make cash or card payments at any shop or other outlet that displays the Paypoint symbol. The minimum amount you can buy using this method is £5.

(if you have lost your card, a replacement is available from your local Housing Office)

Entering the PIN code

Whatever method of payment you use, your meter should be credited with the amount you’ve paid within a very short period of time. This is done wirelessly via the internet. Occasionally, this takes a little while longer but this should not be cause for concern as there is an alternative method to update your meter that you can do manually. This involves keying the PIN code directly into your energy meter. The PIN code is a ten digit code that appears on your receipt. Go to the main screen on your energy meter and press the ‘ENTER’ button. Select the option that says ‘PIN entry’ and, using the UP, DOWN, LEFT and RIGHT buttons, enter the 10-digit code. You do this by highlighting each number in turn and pressing ‘ENTER’ to select it. Once you have keyed in all 10 numbers, select ‘DONE’ and your meter will be credited.

What happens if I run out of credit?

Once your credit is at zero or another unit of energy would take the balance below zero, the meter will stop heat and hot water being available. If you wish, it is then possible to make use of the EMERGENCY CREDIT facility by pressing the ‘ENTER’ button and selecting the ‘USE EMERGENCY CREDIT’ option. This gives you up to £5 of credit for heat and hot water. However, you should note that the next time you buy credit after using the emergency credit amount, the amount you have used in emergency credit will be deducted from your total balance.

For example, if you use £4.50 of emergency credit then the next time you purchase £10 of credit, the first £4.50 of this will go to pay off the £4.50 of emergency credit leaving you with a credit balance of £5.50. (You will, of course, have access again to £5 of emergency credit should you wish to use it).

Is there a hot water back-up system?

In the rare event of a problem with the district heating, tenants can get hot water from the hot water storage cylinder. Water can be heated directly within the storage cylinder by switching on the electric immersion heater. Please note that this should ONLY be used in emergencies as this is a very expensive way of getting hot water. You should never use your immersion instead of the district heating when the district heating is available.

What if my heating isn’t working properly?

This should be treated like any other repair and can be reported directly to the Housing Repairs Centre on 01382 434343.

Damage to meters

Energy meters are tamper-proof and any attempts to bypass the system will be identified by Energy Billing who will alert the Housing Department. Any tenant found to have damaged the meter will be recharged for any necessary repairs.


District heating for your block was chosen by the Housing Department as the most economical way for you to get heating and hot water and we want you to enjoy a cosy home. If you are having difficulties, Dundee City Council will be very happy to help if you call them for advice, so please contact DEEAP on 01382 434840 as soon as you start experiencing problems. They will be happy to help.