A review is made of what was said at the Third Bi-annual Convention (Reggio Emilia, 24-25/11/88) of AIRU (the Italian Association for District Heating). In general, the seven papers presented dealt with the following points: the technology of primary energy supply, thermal energy production, energy distribution to users, environmental engineering and socio-economic factors. Emphasis was given to the themes: district heating in Italy within the framework of the 1988 National Energy Plan and the impact on energy marketing due to the future free trade system planned for the E.E.C. in 1992. A critical analysis is made of: forecasts of primary energy demand for the year 2000, plans for the reduction of dependency on foreign supplied petroleum, the promotion of the increased use of natural gas and methane and overall energy conservation measures as called for by the National Energy Plan.