MEMB E R COMP ANY P RO F I L E GENTOFTE DISTRICT HEATING COMPANY
Construction of pipe bridge above highway in Gentofte.
800 new customers yearly. Johan underlines the fact that they have reached these numbers despite the dropping oil and gas prices minimizing the customers’ financial gain when switching to district heating. Initially, 60-65% of possible customers signed up for district heating: This number has now increased to 85%, which only further stresses the need for preparing and designing the physical district heating network to supply up to 94% of potential customers. The extensive work and planning that lies ahead of reaching this success rate is something that strongly influences the daily life at Gentofte District Heating Company. It has become part of the workflow to focus heavily on marketing and sales in order to attract all potential customers. The company hosts up to 12 citizen meetings per year, but this is necessary to meet the ambition of suppling the whole community with district heating, according to Johan. Johan also emphasizes the distinct way in which Gentofte District Heating Company conducts its business, offering the customer to rent the installed district-heating units, which makes Gentofte District Heating Company the owner and caretaker of the unit. Approximately 97% of the customers choose this solution. At this point, the specific service is offered to small, private customers, but it is a clear-cut goal for the company to offer the same solution to bigger customers like small and medium sized businesses, thereby meeting a market demand. By owning the installed units, Gentofte District Heating Company ensures that all customers receive consistent and competent support and service. This creates value for both the company and the customers – which subsequently will create trust and help establish a close-knit relationship. Johan sees this as a necessity not only today but in the future of the company.
Owned and operated by Gentofte Municipality, Gentofte District Heating Company is a utility with an ambition and goal to supply the entire community with district heating. For the past two years, the company has been co-operating with Gladsaxe District Heating, and the two companies expect to merge into a joint service company as of January 1st, 2018. Johan Sølvhøj Heinesen, head of Gentofte & Gladsaxe District Heating, explains that the merger will allow the two companies to utilize the synergistic potential made possible by joining forces – a potential that is difficult to reach as two separate entities. “Our employees have a vast and incredibly diverse skillset which will create the possibility of taking on additional assignments and projects, thereby creating better solutions than previously – which is valuable to both us and to our customers”, Johan explains. Referring to the extensive part of the district heating expansion that has already been completed, Johan states that it is the one thing which has been fun and interesting, as it is an aspect where Gentofte District Heating Company differs from other municipal district heating companies. In Gentofte, the expansion of the district heating network started in late 2010, while Gladsaxe followed in 2012. The initial plan was to complete the expansion project by 2020-2025, but recent figures from the Danish Energy Agency showing a decrease in gas prices might alter the previous projections. In the early stages of the expansion, Gentofte District Heating Company gained around 300-400 new customers per year - Johan recalls 2015 as their top-scoring year with approximately 1,200 new customers in Gentofte alone. Today, they have reached a more even level, managing to attract around 700-
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