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Energy efficiency in buildings

Energy efficiency in industry

Energy data ensure better buildings

23. October 2018

Solution provider

City of Copenhagen

The City of Copenhagen is a world leader in green growth and well on its way to become carbon neutral by 2025.

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Focus on optimizing operations and energy retrofitting

Energy Leap is a growing partnership in the property industry working to improve the energy efficiency in buildings. Efficient operation of buildings is a prerequisite for retrofitting and there is a large potential for cost-savings in this field.

Energy Leap has a common three-step approach to energy-efficient buildings. Firstly, focus on data and screening of the energy consumption in the partners´ property portfolio. Secondly, focus on optimizing the operations of energy-consuming systems in buildings, and thirdly energy retrofitting based on insights from the data. The partners share data on their energy consumption in a benchmark. In the first year, the partners saved 2.6 per cent of the total energy consumption in the shared building portfolio.

Energy management in public buildings

A key partner is the administrator of the municipal building mass, Copenhagen City Properties and Procurement, who offer their experience and know-how from their own energy projects. They manage the entire municipal property portfolio of 2.2 million m².

The City of Copenhagen is the first city in the world to have a completely centralized building monitoring system. Monitoring energy usage by collecting remote data from heat, water, and electricity meters on anhourly basis has made it possible for Copenhagen City Properties and Procurement to be able to identify areas with the highest energy usage and potential problem areas. In one instance, data collected by the building monitoring system indicated that there was a broken water pipe which would have otherwise gone unnoticed. In addition to flagging problem areas, detailed consumption data enables precise and reliable business intelligence to senior management and politicians. Furthermore, the system will be used in the planning process of retrofitting and to allow for more informed proposals for projects.

Business cases and new building standards

The initiative is centred around business cases with a projected payback period of six years, and a total investment sum of more than DKK 160 million. This comprehensive building monitoring system is easily replicable and financially feasible for both public and private sector organizations. Due to the short payback time, it has been largely possible to use an efficiency agenda to pave the way for large-scale energy reduction projects. 

Copenhagen has also created new standards for construction to make hardware installation streamlined and remotely accessible, which demonstrates the holistic and long-term thinking that has gone into this plan. By making formalized changes to building standards, Copenhagen sets a precedent for other cities and demonstrates the importance of collecting data.