More predictability in the price of district heat for customers ‒ Helen launches Fixed-Priced District Heat
The energy company Helen has launched a new fixed-priced district heat product for all its district heat customers. The new product can be used for securing heating energy costs for as many as three years. The product makes it easier for customers to manage their finances and balances heating costs between different kinds of winters.
The majority of properties in Helsinki are heated with district heat. In summer 2020, Helen commissioned an image survey on district heat, according to which 81 per cent of residents living in detached house, housing companies and housing managers regarded district heat as a good and reliable form of heating.
“With fixed-priced district heat, we offer a clear and predictable energy price for housing companies and detached homes, which makes it easier to budget for future heating costs. This is an interesting product for our customers because it keeps the energy prices of district heat stable throughout the three-year contract period. We are constantly investing in carbon-neutral production which, in future, will reduce, for example, the impact of emission allowances and fuel taxation on the pricing of district heat,” says Anu-Elina Hintsa, Helen’s Senior Vice President, Sales & Customer Service.
The outdoor temperature has a strong impact on the heat demand of properties and that way on the heating costs of customers. For example, in February 2021, the mean temperature in Helsinki was -6.6 degrees, when in the corresponding period in 2020 the temperature was +1.4 degrees. Consequently, heat consumption was 23 per cent higher in January–March than last winter. Fixed-priced district heat is Helen’s first alternative pricing model, which the customers can choose next to traditional district heat. The product has four price periods with fixed energy fees: spring, summer, autumn and winter. The customer signs a three-year fixed-term contract.
District heating network as a platform for all heat production forms
The development of district heat is manifested for Helen’s customers not only as new products, but also as carbon-neutral heat production methods. District heat will be carbon neutral in 2035. The emissions of district heat will fall by 40 per cent in the next few years after the use of coal in Hanasaari is phased out.
“The existing district heating network acts as an excellent platform for all heat production forms. The total length of the district heat pipes running under the city streets is 2,500 km, making it possible for properties in Helsinki to become carbon neutral on a large scale with regard to heat. Even at the moment, customers can choose from renewable district heat and recycled heat,” explains Sari Mannonen, Helen’s Senior Vice President, Solutions & Portfolio Development.
Carbon-neutral production is currently built at Helen’s heating and cooling plant in Sörnäinen with the arrival of two new heat pumps. A seawater heat pump and a bioenergy heating plant are being built in Vuosaari. Construction of the Ruskeasuo geothermal heating plant will start in the summer. Helen is also investigating, for example, waste heat from the Kilpilahti industrial area and extensive utilisation of seawater heat pumps.