What to Expect at IDEA2023

Why Attend?


I went to the IDEA conference and it was the best conference I've ever been to. The collection of people who participated represent the best-in-class for large scale engineering and energy-related topics. The dedication to developing next generation energy infrastructure is contagious and invigorating.– Matt Pfannenstiel P.E., Energy Manager, Smith College

Join IDEA in Chicago

Chicago, Illinois was voted the best big city in the U.S. for six years in a row - making it the perfect setting for IDEA2023, taking place in Chicago, IL, June 5-8. Our 114th Annual Conference, IDEA2023 will be our biggest international event of 2023,  If you are looking to connect with approximately 1000 district energy colleagues from dozens of countries around the world, we encourage you to attend.

Chicago is an international destination for so many reasons. Visit the eclectic Northside and tour the Cubs stadium, stroll Downtown Chicago's Magnificent Mile, explore the beautiful lakefront community, and enjoy a stunning architectural river tour. It's the classic Chicago experience you'll enjoy after spending the day learning from and connecting with hundreds of district energy experts at IDEA2023.

At IDEA2023, we’ll shine a light on the significant strides Chicago and other leading cities and companies around the world are making towards building better energy infrastructure for tomorrow. In addition, there will be invaluable tours of local district energy systems, unique pre-conference workshops, a bustling exhibit hall and much more. 

Chicago has so much to offer with their award-winning food scene, stunning green spaces, iconic attractions, and vibrant neighborhoods with something new to discover around every corner. The only way to know is to come and explore it all for yourself.

Learn more about Chicago
and get ready for a world-class event in a world-class city. 


Collaboration. Conversation. Community.

For 114 years, these attributes have made IDEA conferences a unique forum for the district energy community, bringing together industry leaders from all over the world to learn from one another and share their experiences. IDEA2023 in Chicago will be no exception.

IDEA2023 will bring together stakeholders in district energy, CHP, and microgrid industries. They come from the public and private sector, working in cities, communities, campuses, hospitals, military bases and airports. Like you, they are focused on building a better tomorrow today. Come hear their stories - and contribute your own.

Working together and learning from one another has never been more critical. At IDEA2023, you will gain new insights, discover new technologies, and most important, share your expertise with one another in a friendly, collegial atmosphere.


Expert Presenters with Real World Experience

At IDEA2023, you will hear from more than 100 expert presenters from all corners of the industry, delivering insight and analysis you can’t find anywhere else.

In panels, workshops, presentations, and forums, you’ll hear from presenters who have “been there, done that”, sharing practical, real world experience in building systems, spearheading innovation, and changing the status quo. And our pre-conference workshop will allow you to take a deeper dive and participate in conversations with experts who are doing the work to decarbonize their district energy systems. 

Simply put, be ready to tap into a bottomless reservoir of expertise and leave with a better understanding of what to do, how to do it - and even what not to do.

View Conference Overview

Who Will I Meet?

If this is your first or 40th IDEA annual conference, the connections you make at IDEA2023 will be memorable and lasting. Through our educational sessions, bustling exhibit hall, and relaxing evening events, you will meet with and learn from CEOs, VPs, and other senior management professionals, project engineers, managing directors, consultants, sales managers, and many more.

Simply put, if you’re new to district energy or IDEA conferences, you will be amazed by how much you will learn. If you’re a veteran of the industry, you are guaranteed to learn something new.

Click the link for a partial list of previous attending organizations, exhibitors and partners.

Past Participating Organizations


Explore the Latest Innovation in the Exhibit Hall

Considering the high level of expertise and innovation on display, we like to think of the exhibit hall at IDEA2023 as an extension of our educational program. Where else can you get hands on access to the latest technologies and cultivate strong partnerships that will ensure your next project is a successful one?

This year’s exhibit hall features the highest caliber manufacturers, suppliers, and service contractors. If you’re looking for companies with success and an impeccable reputation for designing, constructing, and installing systems across North America and around the world, then IDEA2023 is where you’ll want to be.

Reserve Exhibit Booth

Tours of Nationally-Recognized Systems

When you join us for IDEA2023, you will also have a chance to tour some of the most innovative district energy systems in the world. 

Stay tuned for updates on the tours and other hands-on opportunities we have scheduled for you.

“I’ve been attending many IDEA conferences since I presented at the CampusEnergy conference in Reno back in 2010, and have found them to be the best place for learning about the latest developments in district energy from fellow engineers and campus operations staff.” – Joshua Morejohn, Energy Manager, University of California, Davis