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What is the energy consumption on a council and regional level?

13 Dec 2018
SECURE partnership is preparing the final version of the project energy and carbon baseline study
SECURE project partners, led by colleagues from Karelia University of Applied Sciences (Finland) are finishing a baseline study to provide a picture of energy consumption and generation either on the council level (council/city/district owned property) or on a regional level (including all households and industry). This information is being disseminated through Arctic Cluster project too, where SECURE is involved.

The project aims at transferring knowledge and implementing energy efficiency measures that have been proven successful in other settings. These measures should reduce energy consumption and/or carbon emissions within the communities. The baseline studies have been done in the 7 partner regions: County Donegal (Ireland), County Leitrim (Ireland), Derry City and Strabane District (Northern Ireland), Västernorrland (Sweden), Faroe Islands, North Karelia (Finland) and Nova Scotia (Canada). 

During the project time 
period, the local authorities have executed energy saving measures or shift from fossil fuel use to renewable energy use allowing partners to complete the energy and carbon analysis in their communities. As the partners are different in their status, they have carried out two different types of baseline studies: 
  • Donegal, Leitrim and Derry & Strabane are county, city and district councils, which are responsible for social housing, own properties (such as, libraries, health centres, schools, administrative offices, etc.) and infrastructure (such as, street lighting, heating networks, roads, environmental and waste facilities, leisure facilities). The costs of energy are ultimately paid for by the citizens of the regions. Therefore, the need to cut down on costs and carbon emissions are evident. These 3 partners have reported on their own energy consumption, including consumption of energy in infrastructure, housing and properties. They have also calculated the carbon emissions of their activities as a whole and reported on the energy sources.
  • Västernorrland, North Karelia, Nova Scotia and Faroe Islands are different actors than the councils. Their property ownership is minimal, if existent, and they are not responsible for infrastructure. ALAV, KUAS, EAC and Umhvørvisstovan have reported their regions energy consumption, energy sources and carbon emissions.

The indicators looked into in the baseline analysis are: energy consumption (GWh/year or MWh/year); energy sources (% of renewable/non-renewable, and possible breakdown of these) and greenhouse gas emissions (tonnes/year). 

Some highlights
The consumption and generation of energy or the green house gas emissions cannot be compared as the scope of the different partners varies as well as the climatic conditions. Nevertheless, the baseline studies can be used to analyse the effect of energy saving measures taken during the project on the council level. It is unlikely that the energy saving measures or energy production methods will have an effect on the regional scale, including households and industry.

The project 
focus is on public authorities’ and communities’ energy consumption, generation and carbon emissions and the baseline studies show the state of play at the beginning of the project. The effect will be calculated and analysed at the end of the project (April 2019) and can be pinned to a certain building, as the biggest energy consuming buildings are analysed in the baseline study.