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Lappeenranta's Collaborative Approach to Energy Efficiency

By Project MonitorEE

Lappeenranta, a lively urban center in South Karelia, Finland, embarked on an innovative venture in 2021 by establishing a collaboration forum tailored for private housing associations. This initiative was seamlessly integrated into the city's existing energy advisory services, reflecting Lappeenranta's dedication to sustainability and community engagement.

The primary objective of the Collaboration Forum is to facilitate synergy among privately owned multifamily apartment buildings. By bringing together key decision-makers, including board chairmen and members, from various neighborhoods and districts, the forum serves as a conduit for fostering cooperation and knowledge exchange. Its overarching goal is to create a vibrant and nurturing environment where housing associations can collectively advance their energy efficiency goals, particularly when aligned with similar objectives.

Over the past three years, Lappeenranta has honed its forum hosting capabilities, organizing a total of 24 events attended by an estimated 300 participants. These gatherings have been instrumental in cultivating a deeper understanding of renovation measures aimed at enhancing energy efficiency within residential properties. Expert insights, shared by authorities, energy companies, and service providers, have played a pivotal role in disseminating best practices and promoting sustainable solutions.

The forum agenda is meticulously crafted to encompass a diverse range of topics, addressing pressing issues such as solar panel installation, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, energy-saving strategies, and ventilation heat recovery methods. Moreover, discussions delve into emerging trends like energy communities, geothermal heat utilization, and group procurements, all aimed at aligning with the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) and preparing for future energy challenges.

At present, forum members are actively strategizing the implementation of practical energy efficiency measures through group procurements. By leveraging economies of scale, unit prices can be significantly reduced, making sustainable technologies more accessible to a wider audience. Energy audits conducted for 13 multifamily buildings in late 2023 have provided invaluable insights, guiding the formulation of targeted procurement plans tailored to each building's unique requirements.
One notable outcome of this collaborative effort is the ongoing refinement of a 'renovation package' model, designed to streamline and standardize energy efficiency initiatives across housing associations and apartment buildings. These practical measures are included in the ongoing Interreg BSR project "Renowave".Concurrently, the city of Lappeenranta is enhancing its energy advisory services to provide residents with comprehensive guidance and support throughout the implementation process.

In essence, Lappeenranta's three-year journey with the Collaboration Forum underscores the transformative potential of collective action in driving sustainable development at the basic level. Through shared knowledge, strategic partnerships, and a firm commitment to innovation, the city is paving the way towards a greener, more resilient future for its residents and beyond.

Energy efficiency
Local public authority
Private sector