Up to a third of energy consumed by housing companies is wasted energy. The ‘Taloyhtiön dataopas’ housing company data guidebook published in September provides tips on how to address this issue in simple and affordable ways by utilising measurement data collected from the housing company.
Energy consumption typically accounts for up to 30–40 per cent of a housing company’s maintenance costs. However, some of this consumption is wasted energy due to overheating spaces – meaning that you pay for something you do not need. Often, housing companies are unaware of existing digital technologies that could be used to streamline energy consumption.
The ‘Taloyhtiön dataopas’ housing company data guidebook published in September meets this need. It provides housing company members, property managers and residents with a basic understanding of how housing companies can collect measurement data, and how it can be harnessed to save housing company costs, improve living conditions and reduce climate impact.
The housing company data guidebook is produced by the Climate-friendly Housing Companies project aimed at impacting housing company energy consumption and emissions by increasing housing company awareness of digital solutions. The City of Helsinki’s innovation company Forum Virium Helsinki, the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (HSY) and the cities of Helsinki and Vantaa are working on the project together with the Green Building Council.
“Digital solutions and sensor technology i.e. IoT sensors are quickly increasing in housing companies. From the point of view of housing companies, sensors are cost-efficient and they can be used to collect data even in old buildings. Energy consumption can be cut, but only if you know how energy is consumed in the building. This is where you can utilise data from IoT sensors,” says Project Manager Lasse Sariola from Forum Virium Helsinki.
Sensors will allow for data collection on the ambient temperature of the building, which will allow for the direction of heating and preventing overheating. The pilot company in the Climate-friendly Housing Companies project used the sensors to learn that the public areas of the housing company were overheated.
Energy savings in properties further climate goals
A significant proportion of Finnish buildings were built in the 1960s–1980s. Buildings of this age consume a lot of energy, and there is plenty of potential for improving their efficiency. In Helsinki, the heating of buildings alone produces up to 56 per cent of the City’s carbon dioxide emissions, making its share larger than that of traffic and electricity consumption. The goal of the City of Helsinki is to be carbon neutral by 2035, and saving on heating costs is an action towards this goal.
“The City of Helsinki is promoting the energy efficiency of the buildings it owns by monitoring consumption actively and encouraging all property owners to participate in energy saving efforts,” says Project Coordinator Aleksi Heikkilä from the City of Helsinki.
Data collected from homes is personal data – see the housing company GDPR guide for more details
Digital services offer housing companies plenty of possibilities. At the same time, companies must ensure that they abide by the EU General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. Temperature data collected from homes using IoT sensors is personal data, which is why many digital services designed for housing companies are governed by the GDPR. The ‘Taloyhtiön GDPR-opas’ housing company GDPR guidebook published at the same time as the housing company digital guidebook clarifies the housing companies’ obligations in abiding by the GDPR. In addition to this, the guidebook focuses on data ownership in accordance with the principles of Mydata. Its premise is that residents have a real opportunity to decide where the data collected in their home is used.
The Climate-friendly Housing Companies project helps housing companies take their digital leap forward. The goal is to involve housing companies and their residents as active operators in the smart city and the fight against climate change. The Climate-friendly Housing Companies project develops shared operating models for collecting, sharing and owning data in residential buildings.
The project also pilots the utilisation of IoT sensor data in residential properties in six housing companies in Helsinki and Vantaa together with the residents. The project will produce a digital guide for housing companies, which will provide more detailed information on the potential of data and its collection while also taking privacy into account.
The cities of Helsinki and Vantaa, Forum Virium Helsinki, Green Building Council Finland and Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority (HSY) are participating in the project, which will run until the end of 2020. The project is being implemented with funding from the 6Aika programme, European Regional Development Fund and the Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council.