What We Do

Conferences Since 1909

Attracting attendance from around the globe, IDEA hosts an Annual Conference and Trade Show, Campus Energy Conference, International Cooling Conference, and a newly added Microgrid Conference. Our “best-in-industry” technical content, programming, and workshops represent best practices and emerging technologies that drive the industry forward. Our conferences and events offer rich networking and educational opportunities and provide Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to attendees. View Upcoming IDEA Events

Founded in 1909 as the National District Heating Association, IDEA continues to inform, connect, and advance the district energy industry around the globe. Starting in 1909, IDEA hosts an Annual Conference and Trade Show and added its Campus Energy Conference in 1988 and an International District Cooling Conference in 2007. 

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


District Energy Magazine

Published since 1915, District Energy Magazine continues to be an authoritative source of district energy industry news & information. Included with membership, IDEA offers both a print and digital version of the magazine with a readership of more than 3,500 industry professionals.

Other Publications

Additionally, IDEA publishes collaborative technical handbooks such as the District Heating Handbook, District Cooling Guide, the U.S. and Canadian versions of the Community Energy Guide, and more to offer technical guidance to focused audiences.

Educational Assets

IDEA creates educational assets, including interactive media and industry videos such as "District Energy Now's the Time!"  and the "District Energy 101 Video Series."

Learn more by visiting the IDEA YouTube Page. 

Bylaws of the International District Energy Association


Online Community Forums

Continuing the discussion from business relationships forged at conferences, IDEA’s membership has access to Online Community Forums, connecting them directly with industry experts willing to share their depth of experience and knowledge. Members pose questions to a peer group full of practical experience knowledge of best practices.


Taking Action

Bringing visibility to our industry in Washington, IDEA actively lobbies on behalf of our members to secure favorable legislation and funding opportunities for our industry. When pertinent legislation comes to the table, IDEA weighs in on key points and calls on members to engage policymakers.

Year after year we engage in issues that directly affect utility members, including the treatment of district energy in ASHRAE Standard 189, in LEED®, and in the recently released ASHRAE District Heating and Cooling Handbook.