We optimise energy efficiency at the system level and in our offices.
Caruna's own energy efficiency
Our electricity network is, in principle, very energy efficient, but we are continuously improving our energy consumption. One of our key goals is to reduce energy losses. At present, energy losses account for 0.3 per cent of our energy consumption.
Our office in Espoo uses district heating, geothermal cooling and electricity. Our office also has a small number of solar panels producing electricity.
The largest consumer of energy in our office is the HVAC equipment, as the cooling and heating ventilation devices account for approximately 40 per cent of our energy consumption. Computers and other ICT hardware account for 25 per cent, and indoor lighting accounts for 20 per cent.
We are developing our energy efficiency over the long term, and we aim to optimise energy efficiency at the system level. Most system-level optimisation focuses on reducing losses.
We have enhanced our efficiency and reduced energy consumption in many ways in our offices:
We have closed premises that are not in active use.
We have turned the temperature down a degree.
Electric cars cannot be charged during consumption peaks.
We have adjusted the lighting.
We identified the energy-saving targets in our offices by conducting a site survey, which assessed the most effective ways of saving energy.
Climate and energy-efficiency solutions for customers
The energy transition will give rise to major changes in electricity generation and consumption. Electricity consumption will increase significantly, and the change will be greatest in high-voltage networks as industry electrifies and the amount of wind power increases. The generation of electricity will become dependent on the weather, and the amount of regulating capacity as a share of gross production will decrease significantly.
This change will increase the need for consumption to be flexible in response to the volume of generated electricity, and there will be more interim energy storage. The most significant change for the distribution network will be power fluctuations, which are caused by new phenomena: heat pumps, charging of electric vehicles, solar power production and demand-side management. Our smart electricity network enables renewable energy to be connected and distributed to our customers without compromising the reliability of supply or losing renewable production.
Solar power systems
In addition to energy companies, large corporations can produce energy for their own uses, but you may also find small-scale energy producers in your neighbourhood, family or workplace. Micro-producers – private individuals and housing companies – usually produce a few kilowatts or, at most, a few dozen kilowatts of energy. The average solar panel owner covers up to 20 per cent of their consumption with their own solar production.
Up to 20,000 power plants have already been connected to Caruna's operating area, most of which majority are people living in detached houses, and there are more than ten solar communities set up by housing companies. Solar panels are now viable for housing companies, as solar power can be used in the company's common areas, such as the laundry room and outdoor lighting. As such, installing a large solar panel system is relatively cheaper, and the investment will pay itself back well before the warranty on the panels expires.
In 2030, more than half a million electric cars and plug-in hybrids are expected to be on Finland's roads. In order for this vision of electrified transport to become a reality, the distribution network must be able to withstand the large momentary power levels needed to charge vehicles.
Over one-tenth of new houses are already being fitted with electric car chargers during the construction phase. In practice, all new buildings have cabling or piping in place for when a charger is installed. Chargers can also be purchased for old housing companies. An agreement should be reached at the company's general meeting if a charging post is to be installed by a row house or block of flats.
If you produce solar energy, the most cost-effective way of using the electricity is to consume it yourself. That is why it is also worth deploying load control, which enables customers to schedule electrically operated storage heaters, such as water boilers or storage heaters, to start up at night or during the day.
Load control and solar panels also provide an inexpensive way of charging electric cars. If your car is at home during the day, you can use load control to schedule the charging of the car at the sunniest time of day.
Load control can also ease bottlenecks, for example, with electric cars charging in one neighbourhood, whereby the capacity of the charging points is shared evenly among all the vehicles that need to be charged at the same time. The charging power of each vehicle increases when another car in the same charging system stops charging or its battery is full. Correspondingly, the charging power decreases if more cars begin charging.
Similarly, smart load control can be used to address even the largest electricity consumption bottlenecks in society.
The free-of-charge electrical load control service is automatically available to all our customers who have night or seasonal distribution as the electricity distribution product and who have controlled electrical devices connected to their electric meters.