Our overall energy consumption was lower than usual because it was a warm year. We obtained renewable energy guarantees for our electrical power supply.
In 2020, we consumed 296,000 MWh of purchased energy, about 10,000 MWh less than in 2019. This was mostly due to the fact that the weather continued to be warmer on average than in the previous year for the second year in a row, reducing our district heating purchasing need by 11%.
Electricity consumption continued to grow, by 1.6% on 2019. Consumption of natural gas, used in steam generation, heat generation and backup electrical power generation at hospitals, also decreased. This was due, among other things, to the replacement of the steam generation equipment at Meilahti in 2018, which improved production and efficiency.
Our own energy production accounted for about 35,000 MWh of our energy consumption; 80% of this was produced using natural gas and the rest with light fuel oil at our heating stations.
We increased our use of renewable energy
Alongside other applications, electricity was used in the exploitation of geothermal energy. In autumn 2020, we increased our renewable energy production capacity further by installing a solar power plant on the roof of Lohja Hospital. The solar power plant of the Logistics Center generated 54 MWh of electricity in its first year of operation, and the power plant at Lohja Hospital generated 5 MWh in the course of the autumn.
We obtained guarantees of renewable energy for our electrical power supply in 2020, meaning that it has been certified that the electricity we use is wholly produced using renewable energy sources and with no direct carbon dioxide emissions. The guarantee ensures that the electricity consumed at HUS is produced using carbon-free bioenergy. Bioenergy electricity generation involves using fuels such as waste liquor, tree bark, sawdust and waste wood chips from the forest industry.
The electricity consumed at HUS in 2020 amounted to an estimated 134,000 MWh, which is equal to the annual energy consumption of about 6,700 single-family homes with electrical heating.
Interim goal of Energy Efficiency Agreement attained
We are a party to the national Energy Efficiency Agreement for local government 2017–2025 which sets annual goals for energy conservation. We exceeded the interim goal for the period 2017–2020, having achieved savings of about 11,300 MWh per year in energy consumption. Energy conservation in 2020 amounted to about 1,900 MWh per year, achieved through some 100 measures in renovation and maintenance projects at HUS.
This figure is calculated by estimating the annual energy savings for each of the measures taken. HUS Facilities Center and HUS Real Estate systematically explore energy saving opportunities in new construction and renovation projects of different sizes, as well as in the maintenance and renovation of buildings, with the designers.
Energy efficiency effectively reduces greenhouse gas emissions
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. There are many ways to influence energy conservation, directly and indirectly.
For instance, we can influence the energy consumption over the life cycle of various 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. Remote meetings reduce energy consumption in transport. Efficient use of IT and information systems also yields energy efficiency benefits.