District Energy Space



District Energy Space is a publication that reports the incremental annual growth of new customer building space served by district energy systems. District Energy Space provides the data to demonstrate market confidence in district energy.

The publication of District Energy Space has become an annual tradition for the International District Energy Association since 1990.



Each year, IDEA asks all of its member systems to provide the number of buildings and their area in square feet that have been committed or recommitted to district energy service during the previous calendar year.

We report the number of buildings, gross square foot area and thermal energy services provided (heating, cooling, domestic hot water, laundry, ice-making, pool warming, etc.) that have been committed or recommitted to district energy service during the year of the edition. We also ask for overall information about your energy system, including Type of District Energy/CHP system(s); Ownership Structure, Site Overview and Total Building Area Served, System Capacity, and Annual Production.

We urge all IDEA member systems to submit their growth data, including campuses, bases, airports and urban systems. Every square foot of added building space counts!



We ask North America Systems to:

1. Identify buildings that committed or recommitted to district energy service during the previous calendar year, including Building name and type; Building area in square feet (where available); Services provided (heating, domestic hot water, laundry, cooling, ice-making, pool warming, etc.); and Special factors (LEED rating, unique architectural feature, etc.)

2. Provide general operational information about your energy system, including Type of District Energy/CHP system(s); Ownership Structure, Total Building Area Served, System Capacity, and Annual Production.



For the 2016 compilation we will provide additional opportunities to recognize systems in the Middle East for their growth of service to specific building types, as well as for overall growth in square feet. 

Please include all residential villas, flats or apartments as 1 Complex. Example: "Wolf Run" may contain 200 villas, flats or apartments, but is entered as ONE BUILDING COMPLEX named "Wolf Run".

Stand Up and Be Counted in District Energy Space 2016!

  • Make plans now to report, photograph and enter your customer buildings that commit or recommit for your district energy service during calendar year 2016!
  • The deadline for submittal of information for growth achieved during calendar 2016 is Fri., April 14, 2017.

Continuing our tradition, during the IDEA 108th annual conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, June 2-29, 2017, IDEA will congratulate and present awards to those systems submitting the greatest amount of total square footage and the greatest number of total buildings for 2016 for both North America and Beyond North America. We look forward to seeing you there!

To enter your newly committed, recommitted or connected customers for 2016, please download and complete the Excel template as described in the Step-by-Step Procedure below.



"Renewal" or "Recommitted" in the context of District Energy Space means that the end use space served by the district energy system (the square foot area being counted) was under a service agreement that was near to conclusion or termination and the space was "recommitted" to district energy service for another extended period of time.

This is analogous to lease renewal as the end user had the option at the conclusion of the contract period to disconnect and discontinue service but "chose" to stay on district energy and renew or recommit for another definitive (5 or 10 year period).

However, if the action were to "replace" the named end-user on the contract (for example, Sheraton takes over operation of a Hilton Hotel served by district energy) but the length of the service contract was not extended, it would not be considered "recommitted". 

The operative condition would be that the end user actively decided to stay on the system and recommit for another defined period with an extension of service length being the critical consideration.

However, in terms of comprehensive industry statistics, if any of these buildings were not previously reported to District Energy Space, we would like to include the data as "previously unreported".

Please use the appropriate form exactly as provided and fill in all appropriate cells to facilitate our compilation of the data. Submit the final document (list all buildings within one document) to Len Phillips at len.idea@districtenergy.org. Be sure to send as many building photographs as possible. Thank you.


How to Submit Data for District Energy Space 2016 ♦♦♦

  • Please download and complete the appropriate District Energy Space Submission Form, which are in Microsoft Excel:
    1. Please carefully enter all data in the spreadsheet. Kindly note that the first line item is provided only as a SAMPLE guide to the type of information requested in each cell of the form.
    2. Please re-name and re-save the Excel spreadsheet file with your Organization's name and year, for example: "Myorganization_2016.xlsx".
    3. Please send photos! Ideal photo format is JPEG, as produced by conventional multi-megabyte digital cameras. Please note that low-resolution images from PowerPoint® presentations or websites are generally too pixellated and not useable. Be sure the filenames of your photos include the building names, for example, "Smith Engineering Building.jpg". This greatly facilitates preparation of the final document. Thank you for your attention to these helpful steps!
    4. Please email the completed form to Len Phillips: len.idea@districtenergy.org.

      Questions? Call us at + 508-366-9339 or email idea@districtenergy.org

To access past issues of District Energy Space, scroll down.

Summary of Results: District Energy Space for the Year 2015

CLICK HERE to download entire publication: District Energy Space 2015

Discussion for District Energy Space 2015


Our members reported that they committed or recommitted 158 customer buildings in North America totaling 33,678,616 square feet (sq ft) of building space to district energy service during 2015, or were previously unreported. That compares with 169 buildings and 44,746,126 sq ft during 2014.

The North America total of 33,678,616 sq ft added in 2015 to IDEA's running total of square footage of 660,174,454 sq ft committed to North American district energy systems since 1990, brings the current total for North America reported since 1990 to 693,853,070 sq ft.



IDEA is also pleased to be able to report strong system growth from beyond North America, which we have tracked since 2004. An additional 121 buildings and 42,856,027 sq ft were reported for 2015. That compares with 2,651 buildings and 75,459,748 sq ft during 2014.

The Beyond North America total of 42,856,027 sq ft added in 2015 to IDEA's running total of square footage of 1,218,325,278 Beyond North America since 2004, brings the Beyond North America total reported since 2004 to 1,261,181,305 sq ft.

Totals: North America and Beyond North America

The total building area reported added during 2015 in North America and Beyond North America is 76,534,644 sq ft. The total building area added, as reported to District Energy Space since our tally began is 76,534,644 + 1,878,499,732 = 1,955,034,376 sq feet.

District Energy Space Award Winners

For the past several years, IDEA has recognized systems with the largest annual growth in square footage and number of buildings added to their fleet of customers. Here are links to the winners for recent years:

District Energy Space Growth Through the Years


Editions of District Energy Space



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