Efficient: Fuel cells in the multi-family dwelling

WINGAS and Viessmann promote the fuel cell pilot project from Vereinigte Stadtwerke GmbH in the private sector

Ratzeburg/Kassel. In addition to lowering CO2 emissions, efficient heating technology significantly reduces energy costs: In cooperation with the heating system manufacturer Viessmann, the Kassel-based natural gas supplier WINGAS and Vereinigte Stadtwerke GmbH have jointly inaugurated a high-efficiency fuel cell in the boiler room of a multi-family, four-unit home in Mölln. The device was integrated in the existing technology and uses the fuel cell to deliver up to 4,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity and 5,000 kWh heat per year. It thus covers around 50 percent of the electricity requirements and up to 25 percent of the heating requirements of the four-family house. Vereinigte Stadtwerke operates the fuel cell as part of a ten-year agreement that also includes maintenance. The tenants therefore pay only for the energy generated.

In the past years, WINGAS has accompanies a host of field tests involving fuel cells in the private customer segment and had positive experiences with fuel cell technology as a result. Together with Viessmann, WINGAS has now launched a new funding program in which municipal utility customers receive subsidies for implementing innovative heating and electricity generation technology. The Vereinigte Stadtwerke is now the first to benefit from the new program and thus be given the opportunity to carry out the project. “Our cooperation with Viessmann has been in place since the beginning of the year. Together, we are promoting natural gas-based flagship projects and can offer municipal utilities in particular a variety of marketing and sales measures,” explains Marco Weide from WINGAS marketing. “As is now the case in Ratzeburg, energy suppliers also receive subsidies for using gas efficiency technologies and can thus rely on modern and sustainable heating technology. As a result, municipal utilities assume responsibility for climate protection and boost their image as ecologically-oriented energy suppliers.”

Fast and inexpensive CO2 savings with natural gas technology

Manfred Priebsch, authorized representative of Vereinigte Stadtwerke, sees additional benefits: “The cooperation is great and a good opportunity for us to put a pioneering project like this into practice. It means we’re taking a step into the future and want to show how reliably and effectively the technology works. With an overall efficiency rating of more than 80 percent, the fuel cell is ideal for meeting the requirements of the Energy Saving Ordinance in new buildings.”

Nicholas Neu, WINGAS spokesperson, underscores the benefits of the fuel cell and the innovative technology: “With modern and efficient natural gas-based heating technology, significant CO2 savings can be achieved quickly and cost-effectively, and individual heating costs reduced. Particularly in the high-emission heating segment, the superior properties of natural gas can help achieve the German CO2 savings targets in homes. We are especially impressed by the high-efficiency, forward-looking fuel cell technology and are therefore offering municipal utilities the opportunity to put the innovative technology into practice through our funding program.”

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