Saving energy must be a joint effort for all

Due to the energy crisis, all of Europe is making plans for how to save energy. Spain does not allow buildings to be cooled lower than 27 degrees in the summer, and some more active municipalities have set time limits on warm showers. If saving energy has been important for saving personal expenses and saving nature in previous years, this year it is also a matter of pan-European security.

As a large heating company, we always buy fuels as cheaply as possible as per the market situation and constantly improve our district heating system according to the most recent technological developments in order to keep costs at the most optimal level. However, the energy crisis has affected the prices of all energy carriers, and so we recommend that all building owners and consumers consume heat as economically as possible.

Our goal for the next five years is to move from low to zero fossil fuel use. We have drawn up an investment plan that envisages the implementation of sewage and seawater heat pumps and the construction of wind farms in order to phase out gas once and for all. But these capacities are not yet ready for this heating season.

Saving starts with data

Saving energy should start with knowing how much heat a building consumes. One way to get a clearer picture is to compare the bills of different years and find out if there have been big changes in the amount of consumption. However, it must be remembered that the amount of heat required for heating is intrinsically linked to the weather, i.e. how warm or cold the season has been.

Utilitas has created a much more accurate dataset for its customers. All Utilitas district heating customers can monitor how much heat their building consumes and how environmentally friendly it is in the e-service portal at any time. Consumption data helps to discover sudden changes and daily dynamics but also to compare the efficiency of your building’s heating system with other similar buildings. The data also reveals possible problems with the heating substation – an efficient heating substation saves costs and reduces heat loss.

With the help of the self-service portal, building residents can conduct an experiment – whether and by how much the building’s heat consumption actually decreases by using energy-saving tips. In the Utilitas self-service portal, you can see normalized consumption has already been deducted, that is, the effect of weather conditions. These data convey a clear message and help to motivate residents to save.

Renovating and adjusting

By comparing the data of your building with other similar buildings, you understand whether and how much energy could be saved. By fully renovating a building, it is possible to reduce energy consumption by up to 80%. If a complete reconstruction is not possible, you could consider modernizing the heating system.

The least that can be done in such a case is a partial reconstruction of the heating system by introducing a two-pipe system, which helps to distribute heat more evenly in the building, regulate the temperature on a room-by-room basis, and achieve energy savings. The two-pipe system enables you to save up to 20% on heating bills.

Let’s be economical!

If you already have room-based regulators in your apartments: don’t forget to use them! Lowering the room temperature by one degree reduces heating costs by nearly 5%. In long-term dwellings, the temperature should not be lower than 18 degrees (a regulation from the Building Code).

Since the heat used to heat apartment buildings is usually divided among the residents on the basis of square meters, it is often forgotten that the whole is made up of parts. Therefore, energy savings should be a joint project of the building’s residents and the methods should be agreed upon jointly. A more economical use of hot water, shorter ventilation time of the rooms, cooler room temperature during a long absence – all these small tricks provide an impact when used together.

In the Utilitas e-service portal, you can:

  • See when the building consumes more or less heat than usual
  • Compare how efficient the building’s heating system is compared to other similar buildings
  • See what type of fuels are used to generate the heat for your building
  • See how big the building’s carbon footprint is
  • Send e-mails to Utilitas customer service
  • Download invoices, etc.