How Our Partners Contribute

How Our Partners Contribute

District Energy in Cities offers partners numerous ways to get involved: as part of the global advisory board, participants in thematic task-forces and country or city level expert working groups, and providing direct support to local stakeholders throughout the project preparation and planning processes.

Partners can engage in different stages of District Energy in Cities activities as detailed below.

To see how you can contribute select the category that best fits your organization’s profile:

Cities/Municipal Governments

Cities can achieve energy efficiency, zero energy building and renewable energy objectives through modern district energy – using a proven technology but pushing it to new heights. With our tools and team of technical experts, cities can receive support on technical issues, access to finance, and planning business models. Cities at all levels of development can sign-up to the Initiative to offer expertise, gain visibility, engage in city-to-city twinning and benefit from the tools, methodologies and best practices developed by the Initiative. Cities can sign-up as learning cities or champion cities.

Thinking about joining the Initiative as a city? Click here.

National and State Governments

National and state governments can work with our expert technical team and signature methodology to identify the potential of district energy and how it can help deliver on diverse commitments from climate and energy to air quality and the phase down of HFCs under the Kigali Amendment.

The Initiative helps develop roadmaps, evaluates how district energy can be integrated into existing policies and financial incentive schemes, and supports the development of an enabling regulatory frameworks. UN Environment also uses its convening power to engage banks and international financial institutions, catalysing investment and jointly developing tailored financial instruments.

National and state governments experienced in district energy are encouraged to join us as champion countries to share their expertise, provide tools and give guidance to new district energy markets.

Thinking about joining the Initiative as a national or state government? Click here.


Utilities and energy service companies that partner with us gain access to our signature technical support in identifying new business models and bundling multiple service offerings to consumers.

District energy utilities, operators and energy service companies, both public and private, are vital to helping the Initiative expand international best practice. They are assisting the Initiative in areas such as assessments of cities’ district energy potential and the development of methodologies and tools that will support cities’ transition to modern district energy.

Thinking about joining the Initiative as a utility? Click here.

Private Sector

The Initiative engages many private sector actors, including consultancies, city planners, law firms, engineering firms and technology providers, local supply-chain companies, real-estate developers, and utilities. Private sector partners provide targeted support, participate in global agenda setting, develop knowledge tools, conduct studies, and assist in the preparation of global benchmarks and standards. Partners gain unique access to municipal and national governments and our database of district energy knowledge products and signature trainings.

Thinking about joining the Initiative as a company? Click here.

Industry Associations

As representatives of hundreds of private sector partners, industry associations contribute by connecting the Initiative to the private sector and supporting the vital work of raising global awareness of district energy best practice at international workshops and conferences and through guidance material. Industry Associations can use the District Energy in Cities Initiative as a platform for channeling their expertise and matching their members’ services to numerous cities and countries.

Thinking about joining the Initiative as an Industry Association? Click here.

International Organizations

The Initiative has partnered with international organizations that are crucial to raising the profile of district energy on international agendas, contributing to industry knowledge, fundraising and supporting on-the-ground activities. International Organizations can connect to cities and countries with high potential for district energy development through the Initiative’s activities.

Thinking about joining the Initiative as an International Organization? Click here.

Financial Institutions

The Initiative works with financial institutions from the outset to ensure that plans and assessments conform with the requirements of finance providers and that projects are bankable. District Energy in Cities, in partnership with financial institutions, addresses major barriers that stand in the way of investment – a lack of project identification and awareness on technology solutions, a shortage of funding for neutral early-stage assessments and the ‘death valley’ of project development.

The power of partnerships between banks and District Energy in Cities has been demonstrated in Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina) with the European Bank for Reconstruction (hyperlink) and Development (EBRD) and in Thane (India) (hyperlink) with the International Finance Corporation.

Thinking about joining the Initiative as a Financial Institution? Click here.

City Networks

Local action drives global change; city networks are where local action meets global ambition to address complex problems. District Energy in Cities Initiative works with city networks like ICLEI and C40 to disseminate policy best practice, develop joint tools, and facilitate peer-learning and knowledge sharing across cities in different stages of district energy implementation.

District Energy in Cities can help city networks foster dialogue with, and elevate local issues to, national governments. City networks can also benefit from the neutral multi-stakeholder platform of District Energy in Cities to connect their cities with private sector and finance expertise.

Thinking about joining the Initiative as a City Network? Click here.

Think Tanks, Research Institutions and Universities

District energy implementation needs strong technical capacity, data and evidence, and direct training and support. Think tanks, research institutions and universities contribute to the Initiative’s knowledge development and transfer to its cities and partners. Partners can apply research and tools to cities in over 14 countries; access reliable bottom-up data; tap into the potential to produce joint research papers, publications and contribute to general knowledge creation; and access a global audience of over 14 countries, 30 cities, and 45 partners for dissemination of knowledge products.

Thinking about joining the Initiative as a Think Tank, Research Institution or University? Click here.

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