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The project consists in replacing a highly polluting old gas-fuelled district heating boiler by new biomass-based equipment with lower emissions and more stable production and selling costs. It is located in a distressed neighbourhood of the city of Chambéry, France, which is the subject of an ‘integrated urban development programme for renewal’. The project has been designed and implemented by the Société Chambérienne de Distribution de Chaleur (SCDC). This private company provides heating and hot water under a 30-year contract with the city council. The project forms part of a jointly designed heating development strategy based on the transition from fossil to renewable energy as part of the local climate plan.

Executive summary

The project installed a biomass-fuelled 7 Megawatt boiler, located in the distressed urban area of Hauts de Chambéry. It annually produces heating for 4 000 equivalent dwellings or 2 800 Toe (Ton oil equivalent) by burning 14 000 tons of woodchips, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% as compared to the former gas boiler. The equipment was delivered in mid-2011 and has been fully operational since October 2011.

The project is in line with the thematic focus on sustainable growth in the Europe 2020 strategy, and was inspired by the EU’s integrated energy and climate change objectives, which have been endorsed at national, regional and local levels. They are dubbed ‘20-20-20’, as they are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to at least 20% below the 1990 levels, to have 20% of energy consumption coming from renewable sources and to reach a 20% reduction of primary energy use compared with projected levels, to be achieved by improving energy efficiency – all by 2020.

The project was selected within the operational programme for the Rhône-Alpes region under a measure aiming to develop renewable energy and promote biomass production. At the city level, the project has been designed to contribute to the general policy for the improvement of the environment and urban quality and to the local climate plan, whose main objective is also to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020. As such, the project forms one stage in the implementation of the ‘strategic plan for city heating development’ jointly designed and implemented by the city council and the SCDC utility company. This strategy provides that, by 2020, 65% of the heat will be produced from renewable resources, leading to a significant reduction in emissions. The project is also promoting the development of the wood industry in the region, at least in terms of quantity produced and jobs created.

In providing heating and hot water to most of the neighbourhood’s 14 000 inhabitants, the great majority tenants of the 3 500 social housing dwellings, the project contributes to the renewal of the neighbourhood as part of its integrated urban development plan for renewal. Because of the lower VAT rate that is levied on renewable energy and its more stable selling price, the project is expected to benefit low-income social housing tenants, as well as other customers such as public housing landlords and private businesses.

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Technical information


Hot property

Member State and Region

France, Rhône-Alpes Region, metropolitan area and city of Chambéry, suburb of ‘Les Hauts de Chambéry’

Duration of project

22 months (01.2010 – 10.2011)


Total budget: 3 900 000 € - ERDF contribution: 2 150 000€

Cohesion Policy Objective

Competitiveness and employment

Managing Authority

General Secretariat for Regional Affairs of the Rhône-Alpes Region Prefecture.

CCI nr of OP

2007FR162PO022 2007-2013 Regional OP for the Rhône-Alpes Region


Mr Jean-Louis LECOCQ, Operations Manager SCDC

F-73094 Chambéry Cedex 9 - France

Tel : +33 4 79 92 60

Mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Energy efficiency, Renewable energies, Environmental technologies