Founded in 1909

The International District Energy Association first started as the National District Heating Association (NDHA) in Toledo, Ohio on July 9, 1909 by six attendees at the 14th annual convention of the Ohio Electric Light Association. For over 100 years, the association has held onto its original mission, “…to foster and promote the common interest of its members and to advance scientific and practical knowledge in all matters relating to Hot Water and Steam Heating, especially district Central Station Heating.”

View Historic List of IDEA Annual Conferences and Chairs

View Historic List of IDEA Campus Energy Conferences

View Historic List of IDEA International District Cooling Conferences


Establishing an International Presence

In 1968, the NDHA became “International” in recognition of its growing membership around the globe, now totaling more than 24 countries. Anticipating the growth of district chilled water systems, “Cooling” was added to the name in 1984. In 1994, the association was renamed again to the “International District Energy Association,” recognizing the economic efficiency advantages and the emergence of combined heat and power (CHP) as an environmentally superior solution.


Expanding to the Middle East

Acknowledging the unprecedented growth of District Cooling happening in the region, IDEA established a Middle East chapter in 2006. Every other year, IDEA hosts an International Cooling Conference, gathering international leaders representing the largest and most cutting-edge cooling systems in the world.