City of Porvoo: Digital solutions to improve energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy in buildings

According to its strategy the city of Porvoo aims to be the forerunner in climate change mitigation. Porvoo’s target to become carbon neutral city includes the energy efficiency of buildings during their entire lifecycle, local energy production and utilization of renewable energy.

The main goals of the project are to reduce the energy consumption and optimize the use of renewable energy by using digital solutions. Shifting the timing of the consumption to low demand hours helps to optimize the use of renewable energy. To implement flexible energy demand, property-specific energy storages as well as systems for optimizing electricity and heat consumption and production are needed.

Reducing the energy consumption requires raising the awareness of the users, for example by making energy consumption visible. The goals will be promoted by implementing demonstrations in municipal properties, as well as information for the public.

Planned implementation

  • Bidirectional district heating and promotion of demand flexibility
  • Storage of solar energy
  • A novel monitoring system making the invisible consumption visible
  • Public engagement in climate change mitigation

Expected results

  • In selected buildings bidirectional district heating, solar thermal and photovoltaic systems, electric batteries and a heat storage.
  • Real-time energy monitoring in several buildings.
  • Share of locally produced renewable energy will increase.
  • Information about the potential of replacing central heating production with property-specific storage solutions during the summer months.
  • Experience and profitability information about using batteries for energy demand flexibility.
  • Energy savings (>5%) in participating kindergartens and schools, and 5–10% in the municipal offices.

Smart heating control & use of waste heat

During years 2020/2021 a smart heat control was introduced to 17 public properties like schools, kindergartens, main library and the fire station. Learning artificial intelligence controls the heating of the properties in real time and keeps the inside environment steady. The controlling is based on weather forecasts and the thermodynamics of the building and people.

The aim is to provide pleasant constant indoor conditions to the property users, save in energy usage and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Smart control aids also district heating since easily predictable heat usage lowers the need for maximum capacity thus lowering emissions.

type of district heating has been started in the main school. From now on the heating of the building is mostly done by the energy from low heat district heating return water. This enables the use of two-way district heating and the use of waste heat.

The aim is that the new district heating solution and smart controlling reduces the energy usage over 20% while keeping the indoor conditions constant. The system was taken into use in spring 2021. The most promising pilots will be continued and expanded in the next few years.

Time frame

January 2019–December 2023


Additional information

  • Project Manager Matti Lehtovaara, City of Porvoo,, tel. +358 40 676 1377
Published 2019-02-19 at 13:29, updated 2022-08-04 at 10:48

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