New showcase for climate-friendly action

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Posted on: 8 May 2012

A new Finnish online service provides citizens, experts and businesses with a channel for sharing information on a variety of climate-related topics.

8 May 2012 New showcase for climate-friendly action A new online service to collect and distribute information on climate-friendly action has been launched in Finland. The service provides citizens, businesses, organizations and experts with a channel for sharing and acquiring information on a variety of climate-related topics, including the energy efficiency of buildings, and renewable energy solutions. The service, opened by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), already includes 142 implemented measures. Many of these projects have not only reduced energy consumption, but resulted in considerable financial savings for the party implementing them. The service was developed as part of the Carbon Neutral Municipalities (HINKU) project, bringing municipalities, businesses and citizens together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The service is implemented in cooperation with users, i.e. private persons, businesses, communities and expert organizations. "The online service provides information on practical solutions, users' experiences, profitability, costs and climate impacts. It meets increasing demand for concrete information on measures related to energy efficiency or decentralized energy production,” says Professor Jyri Seppälä, the Finnish Environment Institute. “In future, the system will also serve as a tool for monitoring changes in overall emissions by the forerunner municipalities participating in the Carbon Neutral Municipalities project." Anyone can add information on climate-friendly action and energy projects to the online service. Likewise, anyone can browse and share cases added by others, for instance through social media forums. For example, as a basis for decision-making, homeowners and terraced house residents can find information on renovations to enhance the energy efficiency of oil-heated detached houses, power production based on wind power plants and solar panels, or building a passive house. Municipalities completed a number of measures Municipalities participating in the project include Kuhmoinen, Mynämäki, Padasjoki, Parikkala and Uusikaupunki. They have committed to an 80 percent emission reduction by 2030, from the level of 2007. In addition, six new municipalities have joined the project and are preparing to set emission reduction targets. These municipalities have completed hundreds of measures to curb climate change. By the end of the year, the intention is to collect all measures implemented by the municipalities since 2007 into the online service. Information has been collected not only by the Finnish Environment Institute and Sitra - The Finnish Innovation Fund but also by a number of Finnish organizations, companies and private persons. Project partners include also the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, Motiva, Union of the Baltic Cities Commission on Environment, the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) and the Department of Surveying of the Aalto University. Examples of projects included in the online service Photo: Savumax Oy Uusikaupunki A five-apartment terraced house was planned, with a special focus on energy efficiency. Each apartment has a chimney accumulator installed in a heat accumulating fireplace, solar cells on the roof and passive ground heat, using pre-heating in the ventilation system. All of this will cost around 8,000 euros more than traditional solutions, with the savings amounting to some 2,000 euros per year. Annual emissions will be 25 tonnes lower than those of standard solutions. Mynämäki The Keskitalo Garden replaced heavy oil with wood chips, saving some 2,000 tonnes in emissions every year. In addition, LED lighting is being tested in order to replace high pressure sodium lamps. It is estimated that transfer from Photo: Suomen Megawatti oil to wood chips will pay itself back in five Oy years. Padasjoki Almost all municipal properties implemented a number of water-saving measures. The total cost of these measures amounted to 15,000 euros, and the project will pay itself back in under two years' time. Costs have been monitored for over Photo: Innotek Oy a year now and the average savings come to 30 percent, with around 17 tonnes cut from emissions. Parikkala The old oil-fuelled boiler of the Tarnala village school was replaced with a wood-chip fuelled heating system. Annual savings total around 9,000 euros and emissions have been reduced by 41 tonnes. Sources: SYKE Related: Carbon neutral municipality - not a utopian idea Finnish cities join forces to combat climate change Finland identifies energy-smart measures for built environment Finnish city to become a place of carbon-free housing
Posted: 08 May 2012

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