Estonian gas supplier Eesti Gaas has gone to court to fight district heating regulations in the capital city of Tallinn, local media report.

At issue is a rule that new and renovated buildings within the range of the city’s district heating network must switch from gas-fired boilers to combined heat and power (CHP)-based district heating supplied by heat utility Utilitas.

Ants Noot, Eesti Gas CEO, was quoted as saying that the new rule is “a blatant violation of the law” as it “obligates one to switch from gas heating to buying heat from Utilitas if one wants to repaint their window frames”.

The Tallinn district heating network was expanded in May to include the 6.4 ha Suur-Sõjamäe industrial park. In addition to abolition of the switching rule, Eesti Gaas wants the previous district heating supply areas restored and the new areas rolled back.

Meanwhile, the city council aims to reduce prices for consumers by signing up more customers to the heat network, as well as promoting environmentally-friendly cogeneration.   

The case will be heard later this month.

Around 70 per cent of Estonia’s heat is supplied through district heating, which the ministry of economic affairs and communications says “plays an important role in the achievement of Estonia’s renewable energy objectives”. The ministry says it “promote[s] the cogeneration of thermal energy and electricity, if this is economically and technically feasible”.

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