25 March 2020 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Finland has launched an open databank that will be able to retrieve hourly electricity and heat consumption statistics for about 1,700 service buildings in the city of Helsinki.
The goal is to make Helsinki a carbon-neutral city.
This interface includes public buildings such as schools, kindergartens, libraries, hospitals, and hospices.
Energy expert Veera Sevander said the list included "public buildings, whose energy consumption information is now available to anyone interested".
The service was presented to application developers at the 'Helsinki Loves Developers' event last month, which brought together amateur coders and software companies in the city hall.
Helsinki has been tracking the energy consumption of its buildings since the 1980s.
With the carbon-neutral Helsinki 2035 programme, consumption monitoring has become an increasingly important tool.
Sevander told attendees at the forum that heating the public buildings alone would produce the lion's share - 56 per cent - of the city's greenhouse gas emissions.
She added that "far behind are both traffic and the use of electricity" and that "a staggering 96 per cent of the city's carbon dioxide emissions come from the energy consumption of its public properties".
The platform means there is centralised monitoring of energy consumption and conditions in its public buildings. It makes all the information from the city's public buildings accessible on one platform.
The system is already collecting energy use data on the city's entire building stock and will soon also include water consumption and waste volumes. The system also collects data on the indoor conditions of buildings such as temperature, carbon dioxide levels, volatile organic compounds, and fine particle concentrations. In a few buildings the system also provides user-satisfaction information.