Future Services for District Heating Solutions in Residential Districts
The underlying assumption of this study is that in order to retain the competitiveness while reaching for the EU targets regarding low-energy construction, district heating companies need to develop new business and service models. How district heating companies could broaden their perspective and switch to a more service-oriented way of thinking is a key interest of our research. The used methods in our study are house builder interviews and a questionnaire. With the help of these methods we discussed the potential interest in heating related services acquiring a comprehensive understanding of the customer needs. The results indicate the importance of certain criteria when choosing the heating system in households: easiness, comfort and affordability seem to dominate the house builders’ preferences. Also environmental awareness seems to be for many an important factor when making a decision about the heating of the house. Altogether, based on the results of this study, we suggest that the prospects of district heating could benefit from highlighting certain aspects and strengths in the future. District heating companies need to increase flexibility, readiness to adopt new services, to invest in new marketing strategies and improving the communication skills.