Products & Services Guide

IDEA's Products & Services Guide is a public resource of our business partners. Search for industry manufacturers, engineers, and service providers in an online directory.

Products & Services Guide

District Energy System Maps

Resource 2 img.pngIDEA collects and compiles data for systems across North America, including heating capacity, cooling capacity, and CHP capacity, in order to better understand trends and patterns in the district energy industry.

Interactive System Map

Case Studies

Case studies provide an in-depth look at a particular city, system, or project. These reviews provide insight on how specifc district energy technologies and techniques have been sucessfully applied in different applications around the world.

Case Studies

White Papers

IDEA collaborates with partner organizations to produce in-depth reports on subjects relevant to the district energy industry. We also provide white papers published by other organizations in order to make the best resources available and keep the industry informed.

White Papers


Webinars are held by IDEA in conjunction with partnering or sponsoring organizations. These live webinars explore district energy technologies and applications and allow participants to interact with the live presenters. Recordings of IDEA webinars as well as the presentation slides are available after the event.


Industry News

The Industry News Blog features news and articles curated by IDEA from across the district energy industry. Posts on the Industry News Blog provide insights useful to the business and professional growth and development of companies in the industry. The blog also includes posts written by IDEA members.

Industry News


District Heating Network Generation Definitions

Published Feb 2023

District heating (DH) generations provide a classification for DH systems that has been widely discussed in various papers [1,2,3,4]. In general, a later generation of DH makes it easier to integrate renewable energies, reduce network losses and decrease the carbon footprint of district heating. However, it is key to note that a later generation is not necessarily better than a previous one in terms of contributing to the mitigation of climate change. 

To find the best configuration of a district heating network for a specific case, a thorough multi-criterial analysis is required. Relevant criteria for selecting DH in regard to minimizing the contribution to climate change can be greenhouse gas emissions, resource exergy consumption [5] and life-cycle costs.

In this short document, the IEA DHC Executive Committee (IEA DHC ExCo), which at the time of writing represents seventeen nations [6], provides a simplified definition of the different generations of district heating networks as of 2024. These definitions can be used if scientific definitions such as in [2] cannot be applied based on the
available data.


Read the Report

Pathways to Carbon Neutral NYC

This study. published April 2021, was commissioned by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (MOS), Con Edison, and National Grid. This groundbreaking partnership among the major stakeholders responsible for the city’s decarbonization provides an example of the coordination and collaboration required to reach carbon neutrality at the scale and pace that climate science demands.

The results of this analysis will inform future City policies and programs. The utilities— essential partners in supporting citywide decarbonization—will consider the findings to inform innovation priorities as they continue to support the communities they serve.

IDEA Advocating for District Energy in NYC

IDEA compiled the following information to share with the Technical Advisory Committee and Consulting Team regarding the NYC Energy Infrastructure Pathways Study. in summary, IDEA strongly recommended that district energy should have an essential role as a crucial pathway component to achieve the 80% or greater reduction in GHG emissions by 2050 in New York City. 

District Energy Technologies to Achieve Emission Reductions

The 1998 Ice Storm: A 10-Year Retrospective

The Ice Storm of 1998 hit the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Québec and portions of the northeastern United States from January 4 through January 10, 1998. Unusually long in duration and large in geographical extent, this storm triggered extensive power outages across the impacted region and is widely acknowledged to be Canada‘s costliest natural disaster.

Due to the collapse of power lines and supporting structures from ice accumulation, over 4.7 million people in Canada and another 500,000 in the United States lost power during the storm. The Canadian utility company Hydro-Québec was particularly hard hit, with over 1,850 miles (3,000 km) of power network impacted by the storm. Nearly 800,000 insurance claims were filed in Canada with another 140,000 in the United States, causing a total insured loss at the time of US$1.3 billion across both countries. The event also triggered a class action lawsuit against a group of Canadian insurers for additional living expenses (ALE) due to evacuation as a result of power outages.

Ten years following the 1998 event, this report chronicles the unique meteorological features of the storm and the potential insurance impacts of a repeat of the event in 2008, in the context of the current RMS understanding of winter storm risk throughout North America. RMS estimates that if the Ice Storm of 1998 were to recur in 2008, given the modifications in insurance industry practices, local disaster management, and improving the resilience of the electrical supply system, the insured loss would result in payments between US$1.0 and US$3.0 billion.


Read the Report

The Building Decarbonization Practice Guide

Since the onset of the Industrial Revolution a multitude of human activities has led to an inexorable increase in heat-trapping greenhouse gas concentrations in our atmosphere. In recent decades, this warming has accelerated at an alarming rate and threatens the survival of the biosphere that supports life as we know it. The unprecedented rate of industrial and population growth over the last two centuries and the near-complete transformation of the world from largely agrarian societies to highly urbanized and industrialized environments was made possible by the exploitation of
one critical resource (aside from human ingenuity): fossil fuels.

Devising ways to harness the tremendous energy stored for millions of years in coal, oil, and gas deposits led to the modern world we live in. But the burning of fossil fuels comes with a hugely significant environmental impact: the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, causing the warming of our planet. For much of the 19th and 20th centuries, it was easy to ignore this environmental impact, but as we move toward the middle of the 21st century our very survival depends on ultimately phasing out fossil fuel use.


Read the Building Decarbonization Practice Guide

CHP Market Issues 2020

CHP Today in the United States Presentation

Read Now

History of District Heating in the U.S.

Morris A. Pierce, PhD, has created a comprehensive history of district heating in the United States and he has graciously asked that we share it with the IDEA community. His website,  History of District Heating in the United States chronicles the installation of 480 commercial district heating systems that were built from 1877 to present.

Please note that IDEA is not responsible for the content of this external site, nor did IDEA assist in the project.


Visit History of District Heating Website

Climate Change Resiliency Plan

Published January 2021

Extreme heat, coastal storm surge, inland flooding and more violent storms are the most significant climate-driven impacts to Con Edison’s energy delivery systems and its customers through the 21st century, according to a report issued today.

The report (, developed by Con Edison in collaboration with ICF and Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, leverages the latest available climate science data. The study evaluated present-day infrastructure, design specifications, and procedures against expected climate change to better understand its future impact on Con Edison’s energy delivery systems. The company’s electric, gas and steam systems are all subject to increased flooding from coastal storms, while the electric system is also challenged during periods of sustained heat.

Among the study’s findings is an increase in days when the heat index will reach or exceed 103 degrees, from two days a year now to anywhere from seven to 26 days a year by 2050.

The 36-month study, authorized by the New York State Public Service Commission (NYPSC) as part of a collaborative created after Superstorm Sandy, describes historical and projected climate changes across Con Edison’s service area in New York City and Westchester County.

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Energy Efficiency and Energy Security Benefits of District Energy

Published July 2019

In FY 2018, the Senate Appropriations Committee directed the US Department of Energy (DOE) “to collaborate with industry to submit a report to Congress … that assesses the potential energy efficiency and energy security gains to be realized with district energy systems.” IDEA worked closely with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, ICF and Entropy Research LLC to support development of the report entitled “Energy Efficiency and Energy Security Benefits of District Energy”, which was released to Congress July 2019.  The report outlines current industry best practices, energy efficiency advantages, energy security gains and insights to potential growth, technology and research opportunities for the industry.  We urge IDEA members to read the report, share it with colleagues, constituents, and as appropriate, to local governments and federal representatives.   Please contact IDEA with any comments or questions on the report.

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U.S. District Energy Services Market Characterization

Published Feb 2018
In a district energy system, a central plant or plants produce steam, hot water, or chilled water, which is then pumped through a network of insulated pipes to provide space heating, cooling, and/or hot water for nearby connected customer buildings. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) contracted this report from ICF L.L.C. to inform modeling and analysis of domestic district energy systems.
District energy allows customers to save space and expenses by avoiding individual installation, operation, and maintenance of in-building heating, cooling, and water-heating equipment. Using economies of scale, district energy systems often distribute heat generated by combined heat and power (CHP) systems to use thermal energy that is produced more efficiently. District energy systems are more commonly found in commercial clusters of buildings such as colleges, hospitals, downtowns, healthcare, and government campuses.
ICF worked with the International District Energy Association’s (IDEA) database of 660 existing district energy systems operating in the United States. In 2012, an estimated 5.5 billion square feet of heating floorspace and 1.9 billion square feet of cooling floorspace were serviced by district energy. 


Read the Report

IDEA Video Library

IDEA has an extensive educational video library with conference highlights, informational discussions, interviews with experts, student video contest submissions, and much more, accessible on our YouTube page. Check it out below.

IDEA YouTube Page