Wednesday, May 18

Housing associations save millions a year on energy measures

– If we calculate one kroner per kilowatt hour, then we have saved six to seven million kroner a year for the last ten years, says Ole Morten Øversjøen.

He is the general manager of Tveita Borettslag in Oslo, one of Norway’s largest housing associations with 819 apartments. About ten years ago, they began to reorganize the energy system in the three large blocks from the late 1960s.

Ole Morten Øversjøen, general manager of Tveita Borettslag in Oslo.

The heat pumps contribute to the housing association having more than halved the electricity consumption. – The goal is a 70 percent reduction in purchased energy, says general manager Ole Morten Øversjøen.

Photo: Kjartan Rørslett / NRK

– Without reduced electricity consumption, the rent would be much higher than today, says Øversjøen.

The housing association has re-insulated the facades, replaced 10,000 windows, 2,000 lamps, and replaced old radiators with more efficient convectors. And not least: They invested in heat pumps and a heat recovery plant from the ventilation.

Developments in energy use Tveita Borettslag in Oslo.

Tveita Borettslag has in recent years cut sharply in energy consumption.

Photo: Eta energi

Fired for the crows

Before, it was the crows that enjoyed the heat that were released from the ventilation.

– The warm air from the apartments went straight out over the roof. Now we get 8-10 degrees heat out of the air before it disappears. That heat is transferred to water that we use in the heat pumps, says Øversjøen.

At most, the housing association bought 13 million kilowatt hours of energy a year, now they manage with less than 6 million.

Grete Steinhovden

Grete Steinhovden thrives in the housing association at Tveita. – Elevator and a short way to shopping centers and cafes are good, she says.

Photo: Kjartan Rørslett / NRK

Makes up several Alta power plants

Norske Boligbyggelags Landsforbund believes that the energy efficiency in Tveita Borettslag should be an inspiration for both other housing associations and for the authorities.

– There are great opportunities. Only housing associations and co-owners can probably save energy equivalent to three or four Altakraftverk, says CEO Bård Folke Fredriksen. He adds that it requires generous support schemes.

Bård Folke Fredriksen, CEO of Norske Boligbyggelags Landsforbund.

– Better support schemes for energy efficiency can release a great deal of energy in Norwegian homes, says CEO Bård Folke Fredriksen of the Norwegian Housing Association’s National Association.

Photo: Kjartan Rørseltt / NRK

Bård Folke Fredriksen believes it is a great paradox that the state spends around NOK 14 billion over a few winter months to help people with their electricity bills.

– It is absolutely necessary and it must be done. But only fractions go to equip households for a similar electric shock the next time there has been little rainfall, little wind and an early, cold winter, says Bård Folke Fredriksen.

Proposes one billion kroner for energy measures

He is happy that Enova will now provide support for energy mapping and energy advice to housing associations and co-owners. But he says it is only trifles against the extra billions the state is left with due to high electricity prices – even after paying the electricity subsidy.

– So some of this money, a billion kroner for example, should go to long-term measures, such as energy savings.

The leader of the Storting’s energy and environment committee, Terje Aasland, says he does not want to advance any budget process. But he believes more public support for energy efficiency is needed.

– We want to facilitate that households can be stimulated somewhat to this type of measure, says Aasland.

Terje Aasland

Terje Aasland (Labor Party) is the leader of the Storting’s energy and environment committee.

Photo: Torstein Bøe / Torstein Bøe

Changes support schemes

In the last couple of years, Enova has not been able to pay out all the money set aside to support measures in households. Last year, they only managed to distribute less than half of the money, at the same time they cut out or reduced the value of several popular support schemes.

The state enterprise is now announcing changes and new support schemes. More support for electricity production with solar cells, and support for control systems for electricity and for smart hot water tanks (heat the water when electricity is cheapest) are among them.

Solar cells

Enova increases support for photovoltaic systems.

Photo: Arild Eskeland

– It is positive, but we think it is strange that Enova does not increase support for geothermal heat pumps. Such heat pumps save the most when the electricity price is highest, and help to reduce the need for investments in the power grid, says general manager Rolf Iver Mytting Hagemoen in the Norwegian Heat Pump Association.

The Homeowners also believe that the new offers from Enova are a step in the right direction, but that it remains to be ensured that Enova is able to distribute the funds that will go to measures in the households.

Will save 70 percent

At Tveita, old incandescent bulbs in common areas have been replaced with motion-controlled LED lights.

All corridors have a basic lighting and then several lamps turn on when someone comes walking. There are still some savings measures in the housing association.

– When they are done, the goal is to get down to a 70 percent reduction in purchased energy, says general manager Ole Morten Øversjøen.

Ole Morten Øversjøen inside one of the blocks in Tveita Borettslag.

The housing association has replaced all lamps in common areas with motion-controlled LED lights.

Photo: Kjartan Rørslett / NRK

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