Distribution of heating costs in multi-story apartment buildings

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Under current rules in the Danish Meter Order at least 40% of the total heating costs in multi-story blocks of flats should be distributed by metering the consumption in individual apartments. This fixed share is the result of a previous study that showed that 40% of the total heating costs were used for space heating, 35% for production and heat loss associated with hot water consumption and finally 25% of heat losses in the heating system. It is interesting to investigate whether this distribution remains representative in both existing buildings, where older buildings still dominate, as in newer and future standard of blocks of flats.

Intuitively, we would like to settle 100% of the costs attributable to space heating, by individual meters. Thereby, tenants will pay for their own consumption which encourages energy savings. This is an excellent method for electricity, gas and water but for heating it is a much more complex issue. For instance, if a pensioner wants or needs a higher indoor temperature the expenses will become disproportionate due to heat transmission through internal walls, floors and ceilings. This is particularly pronounced in well-insulated buildings where the heat loss to the outdoor climate constitutes only a small proportion of the total heating consumption. It is therefore interesting to investigate the consequences for the distribution of heating costs by differentiated indoor temperatures in both older and new multi-story apartment buildings.

This paper describes an analysis of the possibilities regarding individual metering and fair distribution of heating costs in multi-story apartment buildings. The overall conclusion of the analysis is that there are several significant problems related to this issue, and it becomes even more complicated when space heating only accounts for 30% in new buildings (2010 requirement) and 5-10% in future buildings (2020 requirement).
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy Procedia
Pages (from-to)1012-1017
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2017
Event11th Nordic Symposium on Building Physics - The Electro Building at Gløshaugen campus, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 11 Jun 201714 Jun 2017
Conference number: 11


Conference11th Nordic Symposium on Building Physics
LocationThe Electro Building at Gløshaugen campus, NTNU
Internet address



  • Heating costs
  • Distribution
  • Multi-storey blocks of flats

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