Regional Heat Demand Database

Publication date: September 2021


About the database

The Regional heat demand database is an interactive data visualisation tool that enables users to view fuel demand for process heat by region, site count, heat demand, and energy demand. At the time of launch (September 2021), the database is complete for two regions: Southland and Canterbury. Further regions will be updated progressively in the coming months to complete the South Island, and then North Island data in 2022.

Read the methodology overview(external link)

Over half of New Zealand’s process heat demand is met by burning fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas, and in 2016 burning fossil fuels to supply process heat emitted 8.3 million tonnes of CO2e or about 28% of New Zealand’s overall energy emissions.

Some of these emissions can be reduced by redesigning the underlying processes, but decarbonising the remaining heat needs will require switching from fossil fuels to low-emission fuels, such as wood fuels in boilers or electricity in electric boilers or heat pumps.

These changes will have implications. Switching to electricity will increase loads on electricity networks, at both the distribution and transmission levels, and may require investments to increase capacity. The cost of switching to wood fuels will depend on fuel availability, which varies regionally, and on the amount of competition for the resource.

To help inform these decisions and better plan for the future, the Regional Heat Demand Database records both where existing process heat demands are, and information about the nature of this demand such as temperature and seasonality. This database is the most recent comprehensive and holistic assessment of heat demand across New Zealand and making this available in a timely manner will enable decisions to be made to change course to enable fuel switching and decarbonisation.

About the data

The data in the Regional Heat Demand Database includes an anonymised aggregated view of sites with a heating capacity above 500 kW. The dataset includes both renewable (wood and electricity) and non-renewable (coal, LPG, diesel) fuels. The data is aggregated at a regional view and can be formed from the amount and type of heat demand.

The information has been collected on a site basis and has been aggregated to a regional view to include am anonymised summary of:

  • The sector of the site’s process
  • The type and amount of fuel or fuels used to supply the heat e.g., coal and electricity


  • The technology used to supply the heat e.g., boiler or heat pump, and its characteristics:
  • Age of the equipment
  • Rated capacity, in MW
  • Typical peak output, in MW
  • Efficiency, if known
  • The site’s temperature requirements – this can be different to the temperature of the steam or hot water (for example) that the site’s heating equipment produces.

Two regions are included in the initial launch: Southland and Canterbury. Remaining regions will be added as they are completed.

Keep up to date on new data releases through the EECA Newsletter

How to use the database

The main page of the Regional Heat Demand Database is an interactive map of New Zealand which includes the completed regions. The main page includes the ability to toggle on and off specific aspects such as site count, heat demand, average demand and GIDI decarbonisation impact.

The selections in the region and sector drive what is shown in the map of New Zealand and in the corresponding charts on the -right-hand side of the screen.

Each of the charts in the Data visualisation tool are available for download as an image or as an open dataset and available to use under a creative commons licence.

Regional heat demand database methodology overview(external link)