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Frequently asked questions about the Energy Saving Programme

What is the Energy Saving Programme about? What kinds of measures will be taken?

We are launching an extensive Energy Saving Programme for the upcoming heating season, consisting of measures to save electricity and heating energy in different types of government properties. We are also looking into possibilities of regulating electricity consumption in the winter months so as to contribute to the security of electricity supply in Finland. Our Energy Saving Programme is about introducing new, fast and efficient ways to save energy. Most of the measures relate to optimising settings in building services engineering systems and we will be taking care of these in collaboration with our property maintenance partners. From customers’ perspective, the measures translate to, for example, lower room temperatures. All the measures are designed so as to not cause indoor air quality issues or other health and safety concerns.

Will the energy-saving measures continue after the winter?

Our Energy Saving Programme is about introducing fast and efficient ways to save energy. Some of the measures are likely to be worth keeping in place permanently. Others, such as the lowering of room temperatures in offices, will be temporary.

What is the programme schedule?

The Energy Saving Programme kicks off in October when the heating season begins.

Are there any risks involved in the measures?

All the measures are designed so as not to affect, for example, indoor air quality or other aspects of health and safety.

Will the measures have a genuine impact on energy consumption? What are the estimates of savings based on?

Most of the energy consumption in buildings is attributable to ventilation, building services engineering systems and heating. Optimising the energy performance of these systems by only running them when the building is occupied can produce five times the savings that are currently achieved. This estimate factors in the effect of also optimising energy consumption in buildings that are not at full capacity.

How big are the savings that the measures are expected to deliver, in euros and in MWh?

The programme is designed to cut annual energy consumption by between 50,000 and 75,000 MWh, which is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of a medium-sized local authority. The savings in energy costs will be as high as EUR 10 million.

How will the drop in temperature affect indoor air quality?

The measures are designed so as to not cause indoor air quality issues. This means, for example, not lowering room temperatures below 20.5 °C. Indoor air in Finland tends to be dry in the winter, and lowering the temperature will result in a slight increase in relative humidity.

Who will benefit from the savings?

We all will. The measures will contribute to the security of electricity supply in Finland and help to curb the rising cost of energy.

Why have these kinds of measures not been introduced before?

We have long been working with our customers to improve energy efficiency. Our vision is to be a provider of energy-efficient low-carbon buildings. Senate Properties is committed to lowering energy consumption, and we are among the signatories to the Energy Efficiency Agreement for Offices. Senate Properties is averaging energy savings of approximately 7,800 MWh/year.

Will it feel cold in the properties?

The temperature settings in our properties always comply with Finnish Indoor Climate Standards. Each person’s experience of a particular temperature is unique. What feels cold to one can be too warm for another. Sensations of hot and cold can be easily regulated by clothing.

How will the drop in temperature affect rents?

The measures are aimed at keeping costs under control. Electricity and heating prices are rising sharply at the moment. The measures will not lead to lower rents.

Is it compulsory for all government properties to participate in the programme?

This is the time for everyone – citizens and government organisations alike – to take action. There are a number of special government properties such as museums where temperature control and ventilation are especially important. Any energy-saving measures to be introduced in these special properties will need to be considered carefully and on a case-by-case basis.

We would like all our customers to actively think of new ways to lower their energy consumption and to take action. In any property, it is the occupants who know best how each room is used and who are therefore in the best position to identify ways to save energy.

What kinds of energy-saving measures will Senate Properties itself take?

We are in the same position as everyone else. We, too, will be looking for ways to use space more energy-efficiently by, for example, moving everyone into one part of the building and keeping the rest of the building unoccupied.

What kinds of measures do you recommend in the event of electricity shortages or power cuts

We are in the process of drawing up a contingency plan for electricity shortages and power cuts, which will be disseminated to property managers in due course.

Below are a few examples of practical steps to take if working from home is not an option during a period of electricity shortages or power cuts:

  • move everyone into one space and keep some buildings or parts of buildings unoccupied
  • turn off unnecessary lights
  • switch off monitors and unplug laptops and phone chargers
  • avoid printing and photocopying
  • minimise the use of microwave ovens, coffee machines and other similar appliances.

Why is it necessary to economise on heating?

Watching the heating bill is especially important for keeping costs under control. Heating fuels are in short supply this winter, which is why economising on heating is also a prudent thing to do. Dropping indoor temperatures by just one degree lowers energy consumption and costs by approximately 5%.

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