It is now more than two decades since Jane Summerton published her landmark book District Heating Comes to Town about the successful development of a district heating system in an ‘ordinary’ town in Sweden. It was published when sociotechnical studies of urban technical systems were still relatively rare, and arrived during a fertile period of intellectual development that was striving to connect studies of large technical systems with urban studies, inspired by new thinking in STS studies (Guy and Karvonen 2011).1 Her subtitle, ‘the social shaping of an energy system,’ continues to be a fresh (and to some, a provocative) perspective suggesting that the development of urban infrastructure systems depends as much on the ‘cooperation and coordination of many diverse actors’ as on the technological and fi nancial means of production. This is a direct challenge to the prevailing epistemological order in energy studies and encourages a relational perspective on the co-production of energy provision and consumption.