Neighbourhood District Energy System

District energy systems centralize heat, hot water, and/or cooling for a neighbourhood through a connected network of piping.
photo of the "underground piping network"; 3 homes with arrows connecting them

At UBC, the Neighbourhood District Energy System (NDES) is owned and operated by Corix Utilities and regulated by the BC Utilities Commission, similar to how BC Hydro provides electricity to municipalities across the province.

In 2013, UBC partnered with Corix Utilities to develop a Neighbourhood District Energy System (NDES). The NDES has been providing heat and domestic hot water to new homes built in Wesbrook Place since 2015, and will serve all future Wesbrook Place homes.

The objective of the NDES is to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions by providing low-carbon for UBC residential neighbourhoods. The Neighbourhood District Energy System is a key part of UBC’s neighbourhood climate action. Decarbonizing the NDES energy supply from its current natural gas supply will decarbonize all the existing buildings serviced by the system and all future ones that connect. And by centralizing thermal energy, buildings need less equipment and building owners have lower operations and maintenance costs.

As the NDES at UBC grows, there will be construction around Wesbrook Place, including district energy pipes installed under roads and a future central energy plant to decarbonize the system. 

Diagram showing district energy system