But there is something behind that, of course, something that also lies behind Nikes "Just do it!" – that is being prepared, well informed, and not least ready to listen. I guess Nike tries to encourage us all to practice, to train hard – and the only way to do this is by doing it! Tom explains how they reach out when he, for instance, learns that someone has to change the gas boilers – this is a window of opportunity a well-prepared "fit" DH person will follow up. He approaches the housing association, owners, and others and engages in a dialogue to learn how DH can provide value. Maybe DH is just about the same cost. Still, we should not be afraid to address other benefits – "what is the value of no noise from 1,600 individual heat pumps", no hassle from maintaining and operating systems, improved service and comfort, attractive "get on prices," the green argument, etc. In Viborg, they realized that somewere reluctant to switch to DH due to the relatively large up-front investment in the heat interface unit. An investment you could fear would be partly lost if you wanted to sell the house in the future. Viborg then made a "rent a unit," so customers can have a DH unit installed with no payment up-front. The cost is converted into a small monthly fee. Further, it is profitable almost immediately, as experts take over the unit's control at the DH company to optimize and
But as can be seen in the videos, the idea of securing benefits to different groups creates a strong planning platform with clear goals. Here I find the real value of good planning – making sure we all know the basics of our decisions – actually, no matter who “we” are in this sentence. The “we” can be city representatives, banks, investors, district heating companies, cities, and so on. With a good plan, we know we do the right thing! Seeing is believing Watch the videos of heat planning on www.dbdh.dk and be inspired how to create a realistic heat plan with clear goals by inviting all stakeholders, creating "our" project. In the videos, Tom Diget, Viborg DH, and Jesper Møller Larsen, Aalborg DH, explain in detail how they do heat planning. Interestingly, Tom even visits potential customers to explain why they should not choose DH for their area. It creates a trustful relationship - and for further communications in the future when things have changed, and DH is beneficial, it is valuable. Heat planning is a continuous process; new technology, new cost structures, and new legislations will change things and lead to new plans - new 'best-solutions.' As Jesper says: "5 years ago I thought we had the FINAL plan – but we have updated it every half year…".
find failures much better than most people, thereby limiting the heating cost. Probably theworld’s smallest DH system – a visit to Føns district heating company Ole Back, the board chairman in Føns DH company has "just done it!". 40 or so houses in the small village of Føns had change their oil boilers (the window of opportunity), or house-owners were tired of the hassle with their small biomass boilers. A group of citizens gathered to search for a better solution. Of course, DH quickly came to mind - in Germany, 'Nahwärme'.
Don't fight against supremacy During stakeholder sessions, Tom realized that many customers were reluctant to change to DH due to the heat-interface-unit's up-front investment. Viborg listened and made a "rent-a- unit" offer, with only a small monthly fee - and it is a huge success. As Tom said, "Nobody can compete against a family not going on a skiing holiday."
Meet your customer - stakeholder engagement Stakeholder interaction is essential to understand the customer's needs and challenges and for adjusting the product delivered - this is told many times in the videos: "Go and talk to them," "Explain your offer," and "Invite yourself for coffee." Closely related to the planning process and as an integral part, we find stakeholder engagement. I prefer to see a piece of stakeholder engagement as customer interaction – we are out there to sell a product or a service. One has to understand the customer's needs and challenges and develop and adapt the product offered.
The world's smallest DH system is green (heated by waste wood from industry), offer lower prices, is a plus when you sell your house – in short, a success! The co- operative forms a voluntary group of citizens working free of charge – some are on the board, others take care of the daily operation. Today, the 40 houses are now 48 (20% growth), and all have lower heating costs than before. The process from idea to take-off was two years supported by the municipality. I encourage you to meet Ole, the board chairman, in the video from this lovely grass-root initiative in Føns.
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