Since October 2020, a large number of buildings in Ettlingen's "Musikerviertel" neighbourhood have been supplied with local heating in a climate-neutral manner: a vocational school centre, a secondary school, private single-family homes, apartment buildings owned by housing associations and a new development area including a kindergarten.

The successful cooperation between the county, the city and the public utility company under the leadership of the environmental and energy agency was exemplary.

The project was carried out after a planning and construction phase of about four years within the framework of a so-called neighbourhood concept. In addition to the project studies on the central heat supply, the residents of the Musikerviertel were informed in events and consultations about energy saving possibilities in their buildings. Project work on the topic was also carried out with the pupils of the neighbourhood schools.

The new heating station of the Ettlingen public utility company (SWE) is at the core of the heating supply system. It is located at the vocational training centre (BBZ). In the heating station, two wood pellet boilers generate most of the required heat. In addition, heat can be produced from a boiler fired with bio natural gas - for example at peak load times.

In addition, heat is also generated via a solar thermal system on the roof of the BBZ. The heat is temporarily stored in a 100-cubic-metre buffer tank before it reaches the houses directly in the form of 70- to 95-degree hot water via the local heating network. An intelligent control system ensures that the most ecologically and economically favourable heat source is always used, depending on solar radiation, outdoor temperature and heat demand. Thanks to the optimised remote-control system, the heating system generates exactly the right amount of required heat at any given time and makes it available to the consumers.

Around 1,800 tonnes of CO2 can be saved per year through the showcase project "zeozweifrei Nahwärme Musikerviertel Ettlingen", which was funded by the Federal Government with four million euros. In addition, Stadtwerke Ettlingen invested around 1.8 million euros.