Guidelines on community heating and cooling

  • Inspiration
  • Preparation
  • Community
  • Financial
  • Staff & organisation
  • Technical
  • Europe

Wind cooperatives have proven their ability to expedite the implementation of renewable energy projects, compared to traditional commercial developers. Heating represents around half of the final energy consumption in Europe. Thus, it is now the time for energy communities and other citizen-led projects offering heating and cooling services to showcase their potential in helping us achieve our climate targets in time. Energy communities are the only organisational concept that truly puts citizens at the very centre of the transition.

These guidelines offer a non-exhaustive introduction into the world of renewable citizen-led heating and cooling, including explanations of what they are, how they function, and giving advice on how to replicate successful examples. The guidelines are structured in the following sections:

  • Drivers to community heating and cooling
  • Barriers to community heating and cooling
  • Supportive ecosystem for community heating and cooling
  • Starting your own community heating and cooling project
    • Finding peers
    • Finding stakeholders
    • Governance
    • First finances
    • First technical analysis
    • First business model
  • Renewable heating and cooling technologies

While the document focuses on two regions where community district heating is dominant (Süd Tirol in Italy in the region and Denmark) and two countries where community district heating is up and coming (Belgium and the Netherlands), the learnings and best practices can be useful for citizens from any country.

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