IEA EBC Annex 84: Demand Management of Buildings in Thermal Networks

The concept of demand-side management (DSM) in buildings to reduce peak loads in the grid is well established in the power sector. The same concept can be applied to shift thermal loads in buildings connected to thermal networks. This project addresses the topic of demand response in buildings, focusing on the collection of case studies, technologies and collaboration models.

Short Description


The overall goal of the project is to provide comprehensive knowledge and tools for successful implementation of load management in buildings connected to DHC grids, thus enabling buildings to play a flexible role in the energy system. The project will explore both a) the technical and socio-economic challenges and b) how these can be overcome for different building typologies, climate zones and local conditions, and c) how building-side digitization measures can enable and optimize load control.


To achieve the overall goal of the project, the project is divided into four subtasks, each focusing on specific objectives:

Subtask A: Provision of knowledge about the partners/actors involved in the energy chain and about cooperation models/tools for successful demand management.

Subtask B: Classify, evaluate and provide technological building-side measures for successful load management in different DHC networks.

Subtask C: Develop methods and tools to use monitoring data from e.g. smart meters and sensors for real-time data modelling of thermal demand response potential in buildings and districts.

Subtask D: Provide lessons learned from adaptation and visualization of project results through case studies:

  1. Creation of methods and tools to evaluate and develop opportunities for the usage of low-temperature heat sources and renewable energy sources.
  2. Improvement of information dissemination for the benefit of municipalities - business models for the implementation of energy system solutions with high performance and economic efficiency.

Expected Outputs

The following outputs are expected at the end of the project:

  1. Overview of different cooperation models and involved stakeholders, identification of their existing and future role, expectations and limitations, assessment of the legal framework
  2. Concepts and best practice examples for building side measures for e.g. improved integration of new and existing heating/cooling systems and DHC transfer stations with indication of minimum technological requirements to enable load management.
  3. New methods and tools for using e.g. real-time data for optimizing and modelling the integration of buildings in the load management of a DHC system.
  4. Overview of different case studies on load management either at the level of individual technologies, buildings or DHC communities.


Austria, Belgium, Denmark (Operating Agent), Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom

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Project partners