Defence of dissertation in the field of real estate economics, Kaisa Kontu, Lic.Sc. (Tech.)

District heating business needs customer-centred development
Kuvituskuva väitöstapahtumaan, Aalto-kynä ja tutkimuspaperi

District heating systems are seen as feasible energy technologies as part of sustainable energy systems and the market share is predicted to grow in the future. However, the literature underlines that current district heating systems should evolve towards lower temperature levels of networks as well as more versatile production mix.

One of the challenges that district heating systems are facing is the technological development of other heating options which arouse intense competition with other heating systems. District heating research have concentrated on production and network while customers are often neglected part of the research and seen as consumption points in district heating network. District heating business needs customer-centred development.

Real estate owners seek lower heating costs as well as smaller risk towards increasing energy prices. The aim of this dissertation is to examine how district heating industry and its business models should be developed to involve customers. This study concentrates on demand side management and heat pumps from perspectives of both customers and district heating system.

The results of this dissertation show that from the customers’ perspective it is profitable to change over from district heating to on-site heating system either partly or completely and implement demand side management. Understanding customers’ perspective sheds light for upcoming changes in district heating industry. According to the results district heating industry should renew its business models, such as renewing pricing models, offer hybrid heating systems for customers and allow prosumers’ waste heat into the district heating network, while adding value for the customers.The name of the dissertation is "Customer-centered development paths for district heating industry". 

The opponent is Dr. Miimu Airaksinen, Managing Director from the Finnish Association of Civil Engineers. 

The custos is Seppo Junnila from the Department of Built Environment, Aalto University.  

Electronic dissertation:

Doctoral candidate’s contact information:
Kaisa Kontu 
Aalto University, Department of Built Environment, Otakaari 4
p. 0503525210
[email protected]

A doctoral dissertation is a public document and shall be available at Aalto University, School of Engineering’s notice board in Otakaari 4, Espoo at the latest 10 days prior to public defence.

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