How it Works

Raise your profile! Get recognised! Sharing best practices!

Eligible applicants include owners, operators, communities and organizations served by a District Energy system.  Finalists are selected from those who best articulate their ambition and aspirations for District Energy performance improvements. 

Applications are no longer accepted. The deadline for was 30 June 2021 (23:59 CEST).

Awards Categories

The award categories have been defined by the Chairman (Dr Robin Wiltshire) and have been approved by the evaluation panel.

Applicants could submit their entries to the following categories:

New Scheme


Reflects the ambition and aspiration of a new District Energy system and those organisations that have an exciting vision, and which have achieved a high level of energy efficiency through a District Energy system.


This category is available to systems which are in operation for a maximum of three (3) years and which are demonstrably operational and have the potential to demonstrate a positive energy performance over at least the next 10 years.



Recognises the District Energy system that had the most positive impact in terms of effectiveness and efficiency after implementing the modernisation. Aspects of modernisation may be technical, managerial, or operational..


Available to systems which have been in operation for at least five (5) years. Start of operation will be determined by the date of continuous service to the first customer or facility. The modernisation must have been completed after the year 2010 and in operation for at least six (6) months.



Awards the District Energy system that expanded to a new area or sector with excellence and delivers after the expansion significant benefits to stakeholders, including the wider community.


The system has been in operation for at least five (5) years. The expansion parts must have at least in operation for six (6) months and have been initiated within the last five (5) years.

Emerging DHC market


Highlights the successful implementation of a District Energy system in a country that does not yet have an established District Energy market.


The system must be demonstrably operational and based in an emerging District Energy market.

District Energy in Developing Countries


This category is specifically for district energy systems that have been successfully implemented in developing countries which have no established district energy market, where both pressure on finance and environmental issues can be acute.


The system must be demonstrably operational and based in an emerging economy.

‘Out of the Box’


Entry to this category is an option for those organisations carrying out initiatives which do not fit in any of the other categories listed for the Global District Energy Climate Awards, but show evidence of significant innovation in the District Energy sector.


The category is open to any project or system not entering in the other categories listed that has demonstrated a significant technological, commercial or financial advance either in the technology of District Energy, in any related systems, the physical or commercial application or the innovation of the financial structures that underpin the development/project or offering.

There will be one (1) award per ten (10) eligible applications in each of the categories.

Application Procedure


Eligible applicants include owners, operators, communities and organisations served by a District Energy system.  Finalists will be selected from those who best articulate their ambition and aspirations for District Energy performance improvements.

Applications can be submitted within one of the above mentioned categories.

The award serves to:

  • Identify and recognize systems that illustrate the overall importance of district energy (heating & cooling) in providing sustainable energy solutions.
  • Provide a global benchmark for environmental excellence.
  • Offer a platform for sharing successful ideas and efforts and encourage further interest in district energy.

Benefits to winners:

  • International accolade and recognition at an awards ceremony.
  • A letter/certificate from the International Energy Agency informing the community’s mayor, president or city council or university or other designated individuals about the award.
  • An attractive award dated and inscribed with the supporters and organisers logos, for display.
  • Positive media attention and global press release highlighting the benefits of the system to the local community, as well as the prestige of the award.
  • A presentation featuring all highly rated submittals and award recipients in a dedicated section on the award website, plus coverage and inclusion in a feature article in Euroheat & Power.


Applications can be submitted by owners, operators, or communities served by the system. Candidate systems shall submit the following information via the online tool.

  • Cover page:
    is used to compile basic information such as, name, location and size of the system, owner etc.
  • Motivation:
    this section will permit to analyse for which award category you apply as well as the why the system was implemented and the how.
  • Detailed Description:
    This is the core section for the evaluation panel


a. System energy efficiency, weight 2: Data supporting the systems overall energy efficiency in terms of useful energy delivered to end use customers divided by fossil primary energy input to production/distribution process, specification of fuel/energy input mix (for further information on calculation click here)

b. Greenhouse gas emission reduction, weight 2: How has the programme reduced greenhouse gas emissions (for further information on calculation click here)

c. Environmental benefits, weight 2: How has the programme reduced other emissions in your community (NOx, SO2, particle emissions)?

d. Innovation, including replicability, weight 1,5: What makes your programme outstanding and innovative?

e. Impact on community, weight 1,5: How has the programme improved the quality of life of your community? How did you work with the community during project preparation?

f. Additional information, weight 1 (Structure of the application in relation to the criteria, quality and completeness of the information provided, etc.): Description of max. 10 pages including a one page summary with key information, font Calibri 12, the only formats permitted are .pdf, .doc, .docx covering:
Background information such as system history, configuration of production units, distribution network, number or square footage of buildings/customer facilities served, average age of production and distribution system facilities.

  • Media Summary :
    Written summary text format (1500 characters incl. spaces) and image/picture which best represents your system (picture or photo; image size width 325 pixel and image height 195 pixel) as well as logos (system owner/operator and municipality) in high resolution (jpg, gif, tiff) for the award website:

By submitting the application, candidate authorises the organising team to copy, publish, post, publicise, promote and use all the information and materials provided without restriction and with full copyright.

The evaluation panel reserves the right to move entries to other categories if it is clearly appropriate to do so. If this is the case, the applicant will be notified by email.

To view the PDF indicating the exact questions asked in the application process click here

How to apply

Applications for #21GDECA are now closed


The application deadline for #21GDECA was  30 JUNE 2021