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Encouraging results for improving energy efficiency from elasticity of demand pilot project


Fortum and Aalto University Properties Ltd. implemented a pilot project, which aimed at steering the heating of a property towards times of the day beneficial with regard to costs and emissions.  The new intelligent heat control system was used for 6 months during winter and spring in Aalto University’s TUAS building in Otaniemi, Espoo.

The project studied the opportunities to even out the momentary district heating peaks and consequently decrease the use of heating plants utilising fossil fuel.

Simultaneously, the aim was to decrease the heating costs of the customer. The feedback collected at the TUAS building was used to monitor how the elasticity of demand, or adjusting district heating to even out production peaks affects the indoor temperature and how it is experienced.

The users of TUAS building participated actively in the pilot project and gave valuable feedback on the indoor air temperature. Based on the responses, elasticity of demand may be used to affect the users’ experience of the temperature,” says Satu Kankaala, Development Manager, Environment and Sustainability for Aalto University Properties Ltd.

Based on the pilot project, savings in both energy consumption and costs can be achieved with elasticity of demand without compromising on the comfort of use.  Based on measurements, demand elasticities of 2 to 4 hours affected room temperature by only 0.2–1.0 degrees.

However, it is crucial to assess the savings achieved in the longer run by property. It is decisive both from the perspective of Aalto University Properties and Fortum that there are enough buildings participating in elasticity of demand measures. This will enable significant savings in heating costs while making elasticity of demand a part of optimisation of heat production,” says Susanna Huuskonen, Espoo Area Sales Manager for Fortum.

The pilot project also demonstrated how important cooperation is in developing energy efficiency. A single property or an energy company cannot conduct effective development work alone. Fortum and Aalto University Properties will continue their dialogue on developing energy efficiency while searching for next pilot project targets. The results of the elasticity of demand pilot project can possibly be utilised also in setting new goals for energy efficiency agreements.

For further information, please contact:

Aalto University Properties Ltd. Satu Kankaala, , Development Manager, Environment and Sustainability  +400 535 919 Fortum, Heat Finland, Susanna Huuskonen, Area Sales Manager, tel. +358 40 801 0842