As the first Finnish operator in the field, Helsinki City Housing Company (Heka) has been granted ELENA funding by the European Commission for optimising the energy-efficiency of residential buildings. More than €1.8 million was granted in funding.

The ELENA funding will be used to commission a multi-objective optimisation for each Heka site going through extensive renovations over the next three years. This process will be conducted during the project planning and general planning stages. Individual calculations for almost 170 buildings will be completed during the project. 

The multi-goal optimisation utilised in this project is a powerful and reliable tool for comparing the cost and energy-efficiency alternatives of a building project and for guiding its planning. The energy consumption of buildings is built on several variables and there are up to thousands of combinations. Finding the most energy-efficient combination takes a great deal of work when using regular methods. Multi-goal optimisation allows for quick comparisons and analysis of large number of alternative combinations. The best overall solution for each building to be repaired will be chosen from among these.

Multi-goal optimisation can help significantly improve the energy-efficiency of residential buildings as well as the usage of renewable energy and recovered heat loss. The data collected through this project can also be utilised in energy-efficient renovation construction in the private sector in order to promote the City’s carbon-neutrality goal. 
At the moment, more than a half of the City of Helsinki’s carbon dioxide emissions are caused by heating. Very strict and binding energy-efficiency requirements have been established for the City’s own building stock, both for new construction and renovation construction.

Heka’s HELENA project is the first of its size in Finland, and its results can be utilised in Finland as well as elsewhere in Europe. The calculations commissioned in the project will help review the overall economic profitability of more extensive energy efficiency and renewable energy investments and find the optimal way for repairing Heka’s entire building stock, comprising 50,000 apartments.

“Heka is committed to adhering to the Carbon-neutral Helsinki 2035 action plan, and the measures of the HELENA project will help us greatly in promoting several of the goals in this action plan,” says Heka’s Managing Director Jaana Närö

 ELENA (European Local Energy Assistance) funding supports the preparations and background research of local operators’ own investment programmes striving to prevent climate change. However, the investments themselves do not receive funding. The most central investment programmes supported by ELENA are focused on urban and regional energy efficiency of buildings and public transport as well as the use of renewable sources of energy.  

The project application was compiled in close cooperation with the City of Helsinki’s Economic Development Division, the Urban Environment Division, SYKE and Gaia Consulting Oy. The project’s progress and results will be communicated widely to other cities in Finland and Europe. 

ELENA is a support system managed by the European Investment Bank and funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.