A cold year increased overall energy consumption. We are well under way in energy conservation and in the use of renewable energy.
In 2021, we consumed 316,000 MWh of purchased energy, about 25,000 MWh more than in 2020. The greatest contributor to this change was the fact that the year under review was significantly colder than the previous year, increasing the need for purchased district heating by 21%. Electricity consumption continued to grow, by 0.3% on 2020. Consumption of natural gas, used in steam generation, heat generation and backup electrical power generation at hospitals, decreased by nearly 2%. Water consumption increased by 9% on 2020.
Our own energy production accounted for about 36,000 MWh of our energy consumption; 81% of this was generated using natural gas. The remaining energy consumption comprises the use of light fuel oil and vehicle fuels.
Renewable energy use continued to expand
Our capacity for generating our own renewable energy increased with the introduction of two new solar power plants installed on the roofs of the Skin and Allergy Hospital and of Lohja Hospital. Together with the previously installed solar power plants at the Logistics Center and at Lohja Hospital, we now have a solar power generation capacity of about 200 MWh per year. We also use geothermal energy at three sites, with a combined output of about 3,600 MWh per year.
Having begun in 2020, we continued the acquiring of renewable energy guarantees to an amount equal to the electrical power consumed by HUS. Renewable energy guarantees ensure that the electricity we use has been produced using bioenergy, generating no direct CO2 emissions.
Electricity purchased in 2021 amounted to an estimated 133,000 MWh, which is equal to the annual energy consumption of about 7,000 single-family homes with electrical heating.
On course with the Energy Efficiency Agreement
We are a party to the national Energy Efficiency Agreement for local government 2017–2025, which sets annual goals for energy conservation. Our overall goal for the period 2017 to 2025 was to achieve energy savings of 19,507 MWh per year; the actual savings achieved during years 2017–2021 were about 14,200 MWh. Energy conservation in 2021 amounted to about 3,000 MWh per year, achieved through some 40 measures in renovation and maintenance projects at HUS. This figure is calculated by estimating the annual energy savings for each of the measures taken.
Energy efficiency is a significant means for combating climate change. The more efficient and conserving we are in using energy, the more we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy production. We can also address this indirectly. For instance, we can influence energy consumption over the life cycle of products and services through procurement selections and by reducing wastage. Reducing wastage is an indirect way to reduce energy consumption in production, logistics and transport.