Environmentally friendly energy choices

The city promotes the introduction of renewable energy sources in the city’s construction and design operations and in the everyday lives of Espoo residents. The municipal report on renewable energy was completed to map out the prospects of producing renewable energy in Espoo. The report showed that there is not a one right path to renewable energy

The emissions generated by district heating in Espoo are diminishing. In the next few years, heat recovery at the Suomenoja wastewater treatment plant, commissioning of the pellet-operated Kivenlahti power plant in 2016, and the potential commissioning of the Otaniemi geothermal power plant in 2017 will increase the utilisation of emission-free and renewable energy from the current level of 1% to up to 40–45%. Through energy cooperation, the city is seeking solutions to increase emission-free energy production and promote the utilisation of modern environmental technology.

Compare heating costs using the Energy Information Service

The Energy Information Service developed by the City of Espoo helps to determine the savings a household could generate by using solar power or ground heating. The Energy Information Service compares the current heating method of a property to the lifecycle costs of ground and solar heating and investigates the possibilities of producing solar power.

Environmentally friendly energy is available from many different sources

Solar energy is easy to utilise as an electricity and heat source. Solar panels can be used to convert approximately 15% of the radiation into electricity and solar thermal collectors can be used to convert approximately 25-35% of radiation into heat. Solar panels also collect energy on slanted roofs and positioned in all directions. Solar heating systems are particularly suited to heat pump systems with a hot-water tank. However, solar heating systems are compatible with all primary heating methods. They are particularly suited to cottages and boats, and to be used in the archipelago and other similar situations where an electricity grid is unavailable.

Every spring, Ilmastoinfo organises Aurinkosähköä kotiin (Introducing solar power at home) campaign. The campaign involves solar electricity meetings organised in different parts of the city to allow energy experts to answer questions related to solar electricity. The campaign site also offers plenty of useful information on solar electricity, including suitability and system providers in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.

Air and ground source heat pumps are popular heating methods in single-family houses. Heat pumps collect heat energy from the ambient air, the exhaust air in the ventilation piping, water, ground or rock. Heat pumps are an excellent heating method for different properties, including a 100-year-old Art Nouveau villa. Nature House Villa Elfvik has been heated with ground heating since summer 2014. Visitors can learn about ground heating at the nature house by participating in one of the regular guided tours or by organising a private tour.

People living in apartment buildings can favour environmentally friendly energy by ordering EKOenergia-labelled electricity from their energy company. Households may actually save money by ordering ecological electricity rather than mixed electricity. Espoon Asunnot shows how renewable energy can be utilised on the rooftops of apartment buildings.

The energy map below provides information on actual energy-efficient solutions that utilise renewable energy in Espoo. Learn about examples in your neighbourhood and weigh your prospects for becoming a user of renewable energy.

The city to pilot renewable energy use in schools and day-care centres

The city promotes energy-efficiency and the use of renewable energy in city planning and civic construction. So far, pilot projects have included many schools and day-care centres, which have tested, for example, solar and geothermal energy use, enhanced heat recovery and thermal insulation.

Building energy cards show what type of renewable energy the property has used, what lessons and insights the project has yielded and the environmental and energy goals of the pilot property.

Solar panels generate electricity on the roof of the city depot

Since June 2010, solar panels have been used to generate electricity on the roof of the city depot. The panels generate approximately 3,253 kWh of electricity per month. On sunny July weekends, electricity has also been fed into the Fortum grid. The depot yard at Orionintie 24 also hosts a text message-operated quick charging station for all electric cars.

To monitor real-time information about energy production with the solar electric system, click the image below.