Tondelier opts for smart heating: EDF Luminus significantly expands largest district heating network in Belgium

Today, 15 December 2015, Tondelier Development nv and EDF Luminus have signed a contract whereby all 530 homes of the future Tondelier neighbourhood will be connected to the EDF Luminus district heating network. The residents of Tondelier will thus be provided with a stable source of user-friendly and clean energy. A smart meter helps them to keep their energy consumption under control. This will be one of the many sustainable aspects of living in Tondelier.


Eco-conscious and smart heating

EDF Luminus hereby confirms its ambition to further expand its heating network and services. EDF Luminus will connect the Tondelier neighbourhood to the existing heat pipelines located at Blaisantvest. In the neighbourhood itself, a 4.4 km local distribution network will be installed to bring heat to the individual users. The heat is a by-product of electricity production in the Ham power plant. Investments in the power plant make energy production even more efficient and sustainable.

‘In addition, every customer will get a smart meter which registers the energy consumption for heating and sanitary hot water,’  says Wim De Backer, district heating manager at EDF Luminus. ‘This smart meter will not just allow residents to better manage their thermal energy consumption through an app on their smartphone or tablet, but will also enable EDF Luminus to optimise the Tondelier neighbourhood’s thermal management and reduce its ecological footprint.’

Sustainability ambition

In cooperation with the City of Ghent, Tondelier pursues high sustainability ambitions, the guiding principle throughout the realisation of the project.

Bruno Terryn, director of Tondelier Development nv: ‘The CO2-friendly option to connect to the heating network offers great benefits and additional comfort to our residents, since houses become more spacious thanks to the redundancy of chimneys and the compactness of the vertically-installed heat exchangers. All users immediately get hot water at any conceivable moment, as soon as they turn on the tap. The smart meter enables our residents to monitor and manage their energy consumption themselves. Moreover, the technical team of EDF Luminus is on stand-by 24/7 to ensure the network’s reliability. Our future residents will reap the benefits of this sustainable partnership.’

In every stage of the realisation of the Tondelier neighbourhood, the City of Ghent’s Environment and Climate Service monitors the future neighbourhood’s eco score. This permanent scoreboard is a so-called ‘sustainability meter’, which takes various aspects into consideration such as energy supply, use of materials, the movement of earth, water use and mobility solutions.

Tom Balthazar, alderman for urban development, housing and public green spaces: ‘The City of Ghent has set ambitious climate objectives as we wish to be climate neutral by 2050. The City of Ghent therefore placed high requirements on the property developer in terms of sustainable energy. By connecting to the EDF Luminus heating network, Tondelier will help realise the City of Ghent’s ambitions.

Energy efficient and innovative

This project illustrates the cooperation agreement we concluded with the City of Ghent at the end of 2014 to exchange expertise and develop concrete innovative projects regarding Smart Cities and energy efficiency,’ says Grégoire Dallemagne, CEO of EDF Luminus. ‘In case of a collective system, it is easier to opt for sustainable heat sources than in case of individual solutions.’

About Tondelier

The Tondelier neighbourhood currently being constructed in the north of Ghent will boast 530 homes (houses and flats). At the heart of the neighbourhood will be a 17,000 m² park and an extension of the existing Rabot park, which creates over 40,000 m² of additional green space. Furthermore, the neighbourhood will have a day-care centre, a sports centre, offices and commercial space. The Tondelier neighbourhood has high sustainability ambitions and will use energy very efficiently. All homes are built according to the principles of the passive house standard.

The project is realised by means of a public-private partnership between the City of Ghent and Tondelier Development nv, which acts as project developer.

About district heating

The Ghent district heating network is the largest of its kind in Belgium. The system has proved its reliability since the late 1950s. The Ghent district heating network currently consists of a 23 km long underground piping system with 129 supply points in total, supplying 75,000 MWh of heat a year. It heats 2100 flats as well as the AZ Sint-Lucas hospital, all buildings of Ghent university, a few buildings of the City of Ghent, a shopping centre and a swimming pool. The connection of the Tondelier neighbourhood will add a total of 5 km of piping and 530 private customers in the long run.

About the sustainability meter

The City of Ghent’s Environment and Climate Service has developed a system to measure the sustainability of area development. Such sustainability meters are already used as a guideline in various city projects (Tondelier, Gent Sint-Pieters, Oude Dokken) and economic sites (business parks and office parks at Eiland Zwijnaarde, Wiedauwkaai – Wondelgemse Meersen).

The sustainability meter of the future Tondelier residential area takes into consideration aspects such as energy supply, use of materials, the movement of earth, water use and mobility solutions.



Bruno Terryn

Tondelier Development nv

Nico De Bie

Head of External Communication, EDF Luminus

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We produce electricity and provide energy as well as energy services. We are the number one in onshore wind energy and hydropower in Belgium. We play a central role in securing energy supplies in Belgium thanks to several natural gas power plants that enable us to respond to the variable character of solar and wind energy. With an installed capacity of 2,199 MW in January 2024, Luminus represents about 10% of the total installed capacity in Belgium. We sell electricity, natural gas and energy services to private and corporate clients, with a commercial market share of about 23%. We invest in future energy challenges by offering innovative solutions to clients in the field of energy efficiency and by keeping focusing on sustainable energy development. We have  2,915 employees. The majority of these people are fully dedicated to the development of energy efficiency services and renewable energy. For the twelfth year in a row, our company is among the 87 companies that have been elected Top Employer in Belgium. We have strong ties with local communities and boast the expertise of the EDF Group, one of the world leaders in the energy industry. More information is available on


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