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Handbook Heat Transition in Communities Municipalities set the pace for the heating transition

The heat transition has been omnipresent in public discourse since the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine and is receiving a great deal of political attention. With the “Gebäudeenergiegesetz” and the “Wärmeplanungsgesetz”, citizens as well as municipalities and energy suppliers are confronted with a new legal framework and challenges. The long-delayed transformation of the fossil heat infrastructure presents them with a technical and social task of the century and requires an enormous amount of coordination and efficient interaction between the various players.

The IÖW has been commissioned by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung to produce a handbook in order to provide municipalities and other stakeholders with orientation and knowledge as well as concrete perspectives for a successful heat transition. Municipalities have an outstanding responsibility, not only due to their mandate for municipal heat planning (Kommunale Wärmeplanung). However, they are not alone: municipal utilities, the housing industry, energy cooperatives, citizens and companies are also indispensable for this massive societal challenge. Their willingness to share existing knowledge and actively participate in the process is invaluable.

The heat transition is a complex task which requires both technical knowhow and political sensitivity – especially on the part of local authorities. The aim of the handbook is, firstly, to outline the heterogeneous landscape of actors and to provide exemplary approaches to neighborhood development, communication and participation as well as financing and business models. Best practice examples show how local authorities are already leading the way in rethinking the heat system of the future.

IÖW Project Team