Drinking water can also be used as an energy source for heating and cooling buildings. Here the energy is obtained from drinking water with the aid of heat exchangers and supplied via heat pumps. The Neubühl housing development in Zurich, with 242 apartments, has been connected to such a system. Experience has shown that this method of utilising environment-friendly energy is both practical and efficient. Here, maintaining the quality and security of the water supply is of the highest priority. All facilities of this type require a special cantonal permit or production licence.
Many water supply companies have excess supplies or do not fully utilise their production licences that they could theoretically use for producing heat. However, the conditions for use for heating nearby buildings have to be closely examined in each case by experts from the water and heating sectors. "SwissEnergy for infrastructure plants" provides free advice on all aspects of production of heat from drinking water.