Learn how Surrey City Energy supplies high-density buildings in City Centre with heat and hot water.

Surrey City Energy is a City-owned district energy utility that operates through the City’s Engineering Department. By owning and operating Surrey City Energy, the City of Surrey ensures that development of the utility is coordinated effectively with other city functions and is consistent with the long-term vision of an economically dynamic, cleaner and healthier City Centre. Surrey City Energy is meeting the increasing heating demands of our growing population by advancing a hot water district energy system throughout City Centre.

Surrey City Energy's Goals

Key to meeting the City’s target net zero community wide GHG emissions before 2050. Surrey City Energy's goals are to:

  • Generate heating and hot water more efficiently
  • Keep energy affordable
  • Deliver energy security through community-level energy solutions
  • Transition to local, low-impact renewable energy sources
  • Raise awareness of energy sustainability
  • Provide stable prices and competitive rates for customers

What is District Energy?

District energy, also known as community energy or neighbourhood energy, is a system that distributes heat (thermal) energy, typically in the form of hot water, from a central energy centre through a network of closed-loop underground pipes to residential, commercial and institutional buildings throughout City Centre.

District Energy Illustration

The district energy system interfaces indirectly via heat exchangers to address residents’ complete heating needs, including:

  • Domestic hot water for showers, dishwashers, sinks, laundry
  • Space heating for individual suites and common areas

District heating is thermal energy and is different from electricity. BC Hydro provides power to your electrical appliances and units are billed monthly.

The first district energy heating source built in City Centre is located under Surrey City Hall and City Plaza. It uses the earth as a heat source by tapping into an underground geoexchange field through 400 geothermal vertical boreholes about 200 feet below the surface. Surrey City Energy also uses renewable natural gas from Surrey's Biofuel Facility and will, in the future, utilize other forms of renewable energy including waste heat from sewer and rejected heat from buildings’ cooling systems.

The expanding district energy system in City Centre will serve most of Surrey’s growing downtown population with reliable, cost-competitive and cleaner heating and hot water services. As City Centre develops, it is becoming a high-density, transit-oriented and clean-energy community and district energy is a key aspect of this transition.

Advantages of District Energy

District energy systems offer many benefits:

For the Environment

  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduced energy consumption
  • Cleaner air
  • Greener future

For Customers

  • Reliability, convenience and comfort
  • Lower capital, operations and maintenance costs
  • Stable prices, competitive rates
  • Worry-free, simplified operations

For Developers

  • Increased marketability
  • Space savings, design flexibility
  • Cost-effective solution to new building standards

For the City and Community

  • Energy dollars stay in the community
  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Energy security, fuel flexibility