Winter weather increased heat consumption in the first quarter
Utilitas clients used 18% more heat to warm buildings and water for consumption in the first quarter of 2021 than during the same time last year. The increase in heat consumption was due to cold weather.
In contrast to the exceptionally warm winter of last year, especially January, the first three months of this year were wintry cold – the average temperature in February was a whole 1,9 degrees lower than usually. ‘Energy demand rose due to the colder beginning of the year, but thanks to weather-independent energy production we can provide people with as much heating as they require at any time,’ said Utilitas Group manager Priit Koit.
Utilitas manages 547 km of district heating pipeline and, depending on the region, 59–95% of it is new or reconstructed. ‘The key issue of uninterrupted heating service is the infrastructure security of supply, and as a provider of a vital service, we pay significant attention to it,’ said Koit. ‘This year we will continue making substantial investments to replace older network segments with pre-insulated district heating pipes.’ In total, Utilitas invests over 50 million euros this year into ensuring the efficiency and environmental sustainability of energy production, including into building and renewing nearly 30 kms of heating pipeline.
In the first quarter of 2021, 29 buildings across Estonia joined Utilitas district heating. New buildings and buildings that abandon alternative heating solutions are connected to the district heating. ‘For example, Utilitas plans to connect the previously gas-heated Radisson Blu Sky Hotel to environmentally friendly district heating. In addition, connecting the entire Ülemiste City to district cooling and heating is already underway, which provides an opportunity to abandon heating only with natural gas and supports the achievement of both the European Union’s and Estonia’s climate ambitions,’ added Priit Koit.
With the utilisation of renewable energy sources, Utilitas reduced CO2 emissions by 219,000 tonnes in the first quarter of 2021, which would have been released into the atmosphere if natural gas and oil shale had been used instead.
In order to increase the share of environmentally sustainable energy, Utilitas is investing into building the Tārgale wind farm in Latvia’s Ventspils region, beginning the first stage of the project by building an infrastructure. The construction of the wind farm with 14 wind turbines and 58.8 MW total capacity begun in April and the farm is planned to be completed in autumn 2022.
In the first quarter of 2021, Utilitas and the city of Tallinn completed acquiring a holding in Tallinna Vesi from United Utilities Tallinn B.V. By acquiring a holding, Utilitas will help to further reduce Tallinn’s carbon footprint by taking advantage of the common development opportunities in the water and energy sectors and increasing the efficiency of both areas.
Utilitas is the largest district heating company and producer of renewable energy in Estonia. The company supplies heating to 174,000 households in eight Estonian cities: Tallinn, Maardu, Keila, Rapla, Haapsalu, Kärdla, Jõgeva, and Valga. The companies of the Utilitas Group operate 26 boiler plants, three combined heat and power stations using biomass, and nine solar power plants.