Case Study Details

Purchased by a private district energy investor, this longtime district energy utility wanted to reposition itself as the new face of district energy in the marketplace.

Large district energy utility in eastern U.S. purchased by a private district energy investor.

To reposition a longtime system as the new face of district energy in this community, while improving profitability.

Key services provided

  • Worked with marketing department, management and operations to determine how they could optimize and accelerate repositioning of company.
  • Updated marketing and communications messages.
  • Moved from a commodity price sales philosophy to value, marketing and service philosophy.
  • Served as onsite extension of company’s management team.
  • Drove strategic short- and long-range planning process to help improve profitability and effectiveness in their market.
  • Recommended organizational changes consistent with marketplace needs.
  • Created and successfully implemented a focus on relationship building within the community.
  • Helped secure long-term contracts with largest customers and bring on several new customers.

The Kattner difference
Kattner Associates had the necessary experience with a broad range of utilities in a variety of marketplaces and could address and understand the organization all the way across the board: from investor to manager to customer, marketing to operations.

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Markets Served

  • City and county governments
  • College, university and medical center campuses
  • Investor-owned utilities
  • Municipally owned utilities
  • Private industry
  • Cooperatives
  • Financial, legal, engineering advisors and consultants
  • Energy industry investors


“Jack Kattner served as a sales and marketing consultant for Detroit Thermal (now Detroit Renewable Energy), temporarily stepping in as business development director when the director resigned to pursue another job. Jack led the search for his replacement, found a highly qualified candidate, and carefully trained the new director on the Detroit marketplace and the complexities of the district energy industry. While most consultants would have seen this as an opportunity to extend their engagements, Jack felt it was his responsibility to ‘work himself out of a job,’ gradually stepping back as the director gained experience and confidence.”


Richard J. Pucak
Detroit Renewable Energy


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