long term. In Denmark, several smaller DH companies have established joint operation companies to minimize operating costs in recent years.

the DH company may be able to finance only 80% of the in- frastructure investments, unlike KommuneKredit, which can finance 100%.

“Maximizing connection rates: Strategic communication channels for DH projects” The decision-making process varies from person to person. It is essential to recognize that people's decision-makingprocesses differ. This is even more relevant for long term decisions like connection to a DH network, that may be perceived as both a new technology and riskier than the classic solution. Therefore, the DH company should utilize various communica- tion channels over an extended period to capture individuals at the right moment in their decision-making process. Facebook, meetings, brochures and many others are obvious choices that can be used. It is advised to have a communica- tion plan from early in the process. Maybe even from the very start. After the project proposal is approved, the physical establish- ment of the DH network and other related infrastructure can commence, provided there are enough customers (sufficient connection percentage) to make the project economically vi- able. It is crucial that the DH company considers marketing and communication with citizens as an integral part of the project since its success depends on the number of sign-ups. There- fore, the company must address a wide range of points regard- ing how it will offer DH before starting the communication process to ensure high initial connection rates.

“Assistance and support”

Establishing a new DH company requires time and dedication, but once thriving, it is worth considering membership in the national DH association. As a member, one can gain insights into the latest professional knowledge, stay updated on energy policy topics, and have the opportunity to influence regulatory conditions and professional standards. Additionally, member- ship provides access to various services to support members' core activities and development. The national DH association has technical, financial, and legal consultants that an establishing company can draw upon. The association's website also offers a wealth of knowledge about DH. The above eight points are intended to serve as inspiration and a checklist for establishing a new DH company. It will not be easy, but at the same time, it is not impossible. Summary The background is that most DH customers are supplied from plants using sustainable biomass, waste heat from waste en- ergy plants, or waste heat from industrial facilities. Other DH customers use solar collectors in combination with large heat storage or water-to-water heat pumps from wastewater treat- ment plants. Others again use air-to-water heat pumps or var- ious combinations of the above-mentioned technologies. All in all, a flexible range of different production technologies. The fact that many DH companies also produce electricity or are contractually shared in the high electricity revenues obtained by waste energy plants further ensures low, stable DH prices for end consumers.


Running a DH company today requires various competen- cies, such as technical knowledge, financial understanding, communication skills, administrative expertise, and legal un- derstanding. Smaller DH companies may not have all these competencies in-house, which is why many collaborate in op- erations, sharing the necessary core competencies. In Denmark, there are nearly 400 DH companies in 2023, many of which were initiated locally and have local roots, which is im- portant and beneficial in the initial stages.However, in the long run, establishing joint operation companies or shared emer- gency response arrangements can yield significant economic advantages since district heating companies must be able to provide a stable heat supply to their customers 24/7/365. Therefore, it is a good idea to consider, from the beginning of the project, whether a local DH company or another external operator can handle the operation of the DH system in the

For further information please contact: Lars Gullev,


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