Media release 21 September 2023 at 8:00 a.m.
Kojamo takes a big step towards carbon neutrality with demand response and zero-emission renewable heat
Finland’s largest private housing investment company Kojamo and Vantaan Energia have signed a demand response agreement regarding Kojamo’s residential properties located in Vantaa. At the same time, Kojamo will adopt zero-emission district heating in over half of its Vantaa properties. With this combination, Kojamo accelerates the carbon neutrality goal of its sustainability programme, which is set to be reached in 2030.
Kojamo is one of Vantaan Energia’s biggest customers with as many as 130 properties where energy is used. The companies also share a strong interest in sustainability. These starting points led Kojamo and Vantaan Energia to discuss demand response and the opportunities it offers in Vantaa.
“The first discussions took place at the end of last year, and then we started modelling demand response for Kojamo’s Vantaa properties. During the spring, we were already at the agreement stage, and now everything is ready at Kojamo’s properties. In practice, the technology in the properties’ heat distribution rooms is at a point where we can take real action at the start of the heating season in the autumn,” says Aksel Danielson, Sales Manager at Vantaan Energia.
Demand response enables the optimisation of the entire district heating network
At its simplest, demand response is about optimising heat production and consumption. Previously, individual houses and housing companies have tried to optimise their own property-specific energy and heat consumption, but by optimising the entire district heating network, significantly greater impacts can be achieved. When the use of the entire network is optimised, individual consumption spikes decrease, heat consumption can be reduced and there is less need to use additional heating plants, meaning that the price of heat remains affordable.
In practice, Vantaan Energia and Kojamo’s demand response agreement means that the room temperatures of Kojamo’s properties are monitored with the help of smart technology. The properties’ heating use can be optimised directly from Vantaan Energia’s district heating network. This means that, for example, when a heating spike is approaching, the property can be charged with heat, and when the spike occurs, less heating is needed, as the stored heat is then sufficient to maintain the desired temperature in the apartments. This relieves the pressure on the entire district heating network and introduces a small control parameter to the heat production of the energy plant.
“Kojamo’s emissions are reduced by up to 20 per cent”
Kojamo is not only Finland’s largest private housing investment company but also one of the biggest investors in Finland. In Vantaa alone, it has dozens of properties, amounting to more than 7,300 apartments. Like Vantaan Energia, Kojamo is ambitious about sustainability and climate goals, which is why the decision on the demand response agreement was a natural step for the company to take.
“For us, the decision to enter into the demand response agreement offered by Vantaan Energia was easy. In accordance with our sustainability programme, we are continuously looking for new ways to reduce the energy consumption of our properties and, consequently, their carbon footprint. In the property sector, heating has a significant impact on the sector’s carbon footprint. The district heating provided by Vantaan Energia already has a small carbon footprint, but we have also now switched to zero-emission heating. This will reduce the total emissions of Kojamo's property portfolio as much as 20%,” says Pasi Kujansuu, Unit Director, Property Services at Kojamo.
Smart technology enables reliable forecasting
Kojamo’s properties already had a Leanheat system in place at the planning stage of the demand response. This system measures the air temperature and humidity in apartments. When the temperature measurement data of the apartments is combined with the weather forecast data, the system learns about the property’s behaviour and consumption profile. This will lead to a situation where the system can predict the heating needs of the property and the consumption of hot water in advance. In practice, this means that, for example, in the morning it is possible to interrupt the heating of apartments for a short while to focus on the consumption of hot water when people have their morning showers. The interruption in heating will not affect the indoor temperature of the apartments, but will relieve the production need of the entire district heating network.
“The use of smart technology is continuously growing. We currently also offer it to those customers who do not yet have smart technology in their heat distribution rooms. A reliable mathematical prediction model can be built if at least 30% of the property’s apartments are equipped with sensors that track the temperature and humidity. At advanced properties, tracking can reach up to 100%, allowing levels in, for example, stairwells and other spaces to be tracked. More accurate data will help to prevent overheating and underheating, as well as provide information about the property’s emerging challenges if, for example, there is more moisture than normal in some parts of the property,” Danielson says.
Pasi Kujansuu, Unit Director, Property Services, Kojamo plc
tel. +358 20 508 4422, firstname.lastname@example.org
Aksel Danielson, Sales Manager, Vantaan Energia
tel. +358 44 729 6954, email@example.com
Kojamo is Finland’s largest private residential real estate company and one of the biggest investors in Finland. Our mission is to create better urban living. Lumo offers environmentally friendly housing and services for the city dweller who appreciates quality and effortlessness. We actively develop the value of our investment properties by developing new properties and our existing property portfolio. We want to be the property market frontrunner and the number one choice for our customers. Kojamo’s shares are listed on the official list of Nasdaq Helsinki. For more information, please visit: https://kojamo.fi/en