Businesses can make considerable savings with demand response

Helen offers companies the Demand Response service that brings considerable savings, even hundreds of thousands of euros per year. The search engine company Yandex gained a 5–10 percent saving in electrical energy costs at its data centre in Mäntsälä due to Helen's demand response service.


In Helen’s Demand Response service, a company is part of a virtual power plant, which has a task of balancing Finland’s power grid. Suitable regulated power loads and back-up power generators are selected for the virtual power plant, and they are controlled during national grid disturbances or shortage of electricity.

This does not adversely affect the company’s production processes. Helen pays the company financial compensation for load control or being on standby and sells the demand response further to the national grid.

Helen has several business customers who have already joined Demand Response, and Helen is also strongly expanding these operations. The Demand Response service is particularly suitable, e.g. in greenhouses, water pumping stations and cold storage facilities, as well as data centres.

“Normally companies only consume electricity, i.e. the electricity market is a one-way process. The Demand Response service enables a two-way electricity market where a company takes part in the balancing of the electricity grid. The company receives a good compensation, which may be up to hundreds of thousands of euros per year,” says Helen’s Development Manager Markus Logren.

“Weather-dependent forms of renewable energy production increase the need for balancing the electricity grid. The Demand Response service is therefore excellent also in terms of the environment because it supports the growth of renewable energy,” Logren continues.

Yandex data centre benefits from demand response

Yandex’s data centre in Mäntsälä uses a lot of electricity and therefore benefits from the Demand Response service. Yandex joined Helen’s Demand Response last year, and the results are even better than expected by either party.

“Yandex has a lot of stand-by power suitable for balancing the electricity grid, and the technical implementation was quick and effortless. In addition, they were already well aware of the possibilities of reserve power,” Markus Logren explains.

Yandex’s data centre gained a 5–10 percent saving in electrical energy costs with Demand Response.

“Our energy consumption equals the consumption of about 3,500 detached homes. Demand Response offers us an easy way to support the national grid in disturbance situations as we are a large consumer. The compensation we receive facilitates investment in back-up power. The arrangement is a better way to safeguard our business operations during possible disruptions,” says Yandex’s Data Centre Manager Ari Kurvi.

“The cooperation also supports sustainable development as it utilises existing reserve power capacity,” Kurvi adds.

Green values are important to Yandex’s data centre. Waste heat is also recovered and utilised as district heat in Mäntsälä.

Helen aims for climate-neutral energy production, and demand response is one of the many methods of pursuing that objective. When Helen can use companies’ electricity as reserve power, it may not be necessary to build new back-up power plants.

Helen also offers demand respond to households.


• In the Demand Response service, a company agrees to instantaneously fine-tune its electricity consumption, e.g. to consume less energy than normal.

• Demand response creates a distributed system in Finland in order to improve security of supply in the electricity network.

• Demand response also helps to increase the share of renewable energy. 

• Typical sources of demand response are lighting, electric heating, motors, pumps, fans, ventilation systems, and reserve power.

• Helen is able to locally fine-tune powers according to the contract by using smart control equipment included in the service.

• Demand response is perfectly suited, e.g. for greenhouses, water pumping stations and cold storage facilities, as well as data centres.

• Demand response is the answer for balancing the electricity network and, e.g., for unexpected disruptions in the electricity network, which take place a few times a year. The average duration of one of these disruptions is 15 minutes.

Related topics:  Demand Response service for companies



Published: 20.11.2017 12:14
Marina Galkin-Aalto
Marina Galkin-Aalto