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Finland tackles energy wastage in flats with digital tracking

12 August 2019 | By Andrew Pring

Wasted energy is a common problem in blocks of flats, but six housing companies in Helsinki and Vantaa in Finland are piloting a simple digital solution using IT sensors to reduce their energy consumption.

The six housing providers have created the Climate-friendly Housing Companies project, which is backed by Forum Virium Helsinki, the city’s innovation company, plus the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (HSY) and Finland’s Green Building Council

Project manager Timo Ruohomäki, from Forum Virium Helsinki, says: “Heating accounts for approximately 70% of the energy consumption of blocks of flats. But they typically have little in the way of technology for actively monitoring heating based on actual needs. The aim of this joint project is to reduce housing companies’ energy consumption and emissions by increasing their awareness of digital solutions.”

Earlier this year, IoT sensors were installed in flats built by the housing companies taking part in the project, and by analysing the sensor data, they are attempting to find the most cost-effective ways of reducing energy consumption. Collecting energy data this way can be as much as 10 times cheaper than by taking measurements manually.

All data collected from flats is being done so in accordance with GDPR, which was introduced across Europe last year. Residents are given every opportunity to say how they want data collected from their flats to be used.

The project will run until the end of 2020 and will culminate in the publication of a digital guide for housing companies on the potential of energy data.

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