The debate of centralized versus decentralized generation of heat, electricity and cooling is getting more relevant in the EU policy scene in an attempt to identify the most resource-and cost-efficient solutions to meeting heating and cooling needs. The energy Efficiency Directive recognized that harnessing waste heat via high-efficiency cogeneration has significant potential for saving primary energy especially when combined with district heating and cooling. Cheap resources like waste heat and geothermal energy that are far from the place of consumption are competing with decentralized technologies like heat pumps, cogeneration and high efficiency boilers. A critical variable in this comparison is the energy transmission cost. In this study a detailed techno-economic model for the estimation of heat transport costs including all relevant capital and operating expenditures is presented. The results are compared with other energy carriers. Case studies will be presented covering typical technical and economic parameters found in literature and industrial practice, while comparing them with the values related to the Energy Efficiency Directive.