Citizen Participation in District Heating Networks – Laura Schouten

2 juni 2024

WarmteStad in Groningen is expanding the district heating network (DHN) in the northwest area for sustainable and affordable heating. They initially prioritize connecting social housing units but face reluctance from tenants, slowing expansion. This hinders Groningen’s goal of carbon-neutrality by 2035. Success relies on increasing participation in the district heating network.

Research aim

The research aimed to determine how people can be convinced to connect to the district heating network. For this purpose, the following research question was formulated: ‘What strategies and factors can be identified to increase citizens’ acceptance of DHNs and encourage them to adopt this energy system?’


This research investigated strategies to increase citizens’ acceptance of DHNs. Factors influencing acceptance include knowledge, trust in providers, subjective norms and personal norms. Collaboration with stakeholders, especially municipalities and housing associations, is crucial. Enhanced citizen engagement through informed communication and ambassador programs can promote DHN adoption effectively.