News

Nearly half of residents in housing companies would like to acquire solar panels – spreading requires legislative amendment

Gaps in legislation are preventing the adoption of solar PV in Finnish housing companies.
Solar panels Aalto University

 

The solar community IT service is already being tested in housing companies in Helsinki (here in Haapalahdenkatu) and Oulu in cooperation with local distribution system operators. HSSR Oy

A study of single-family house owners conducted by VTT indicates that after buying a solar PV system, people often actively monitor their solar electricity production and change their consumption behaviour accordingly, for example using the dishwasher and the washing machine when the sun is shining.

Owning solar panels make people feel good: it improves their environmental friendliness and self-sufficiency. Moreover, people like to show their solar panels/solar PV systems to others. In fact, studies have found that once one house installs solar panels, other residents in the neighbourhood are more likely to buy them too.

‘Consumers want reliable, easy and environmentally friendly energy solutions. As concerns the financial aspect, it is enough for consumers to feel that the solutions are affordable and sensible investments’, says Professor Eva Heiskanen from the Consumer Society Research Centre of the University of Helsinki.

‘Online information or direct marketing by companies alone is not enough to convince consumers. Purchase decisions are often affected by the example set by neighbours and acquaintances, so people's networks and the media have a great influence. That is why we should increasingly support and promote information exchange, joint purchases and other peer communications among consumers.’

Even small savings are enough

There are nearly 90 000 housing companies in Finland, and over 2.6 million people live in them. Using solar energy in a housing company requires a major electricity meter renovation according to current legislation. Distribution system operators’ smart meters can’t be used to distribute  solar electricity to residents inside the housing company. This is why there are so few solar PV systems in owner-occupied apartment buildings.

However, there is a great deal of interest among apartment owners: according to the solar energy survey conducted by Aalto University during the summer 2018, nearly half of the respondents living in housing companies were very interested in acquiring solar panels. As much as a quarter responded that they would be very likely to buy a EUR 900 share of a solar PV plant that generates 40 euros in savings per year. When asked about the benefits of solar energy, respondents most often mentioned renewable energy, zero emissions and increased self-sufficiency.

We already have smart electric meters and they can be used to distribute solar electricity between the residents in a housing company network using an IT programme – now we only need a legislative change to allow it. This solar community IT service is already being tested in housing companies in Helsinki and Oulu in cooperation with local distribution system operators, says FinSolar project leader Karoliina Auvinen from Aalto University.

Inquiries:

Project leader Karoliina Auvinen, Aalto University School of Business
tel. +358 50 462 4727
[email protected]

Professor Eva Heiskanen, University of Helsinki Consumer Society Research Centre
tel.  +358 50 321 0190
[email protected]

Background information

This press release is based on the results of an energy trial and consumer survey conducted by the University of Helsinki, Aalto University and VTT as a part of the Smart Energy Transition project.

 

  • Published:
  • Updated:
Share
URL copied!

Related news

Super hydrophobic surfaces by Juha Juvonen
Press releases Published:

Major breakthrough in extremely water-repellent materials makes them durable enough for the real world

A new armour-plated superhydrophobic material has been developed for potential uses in medical equipment, solar panels and more
Learning Centre graphics
Press releases Published:

New web page address for Learning Centre

The website of the Learning Centre becomes part of the aalto.fi from 3 June, 2020.
SARS-COVID19
Press releases Published:

Invention by a Finnish start-up speeds up coronavirus testing

Xfold Imaging Oy, founded by researchers from Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, has developed a nanocoated glass slide that makes microscopes dozens of times more accurate. It enables the identifying of coronavirus from a sample up to one day earlier compared to current technology.
MRI Scanning photo Adolfo Vera Aalto University
Press releases, Research & Art Published:

Researchers are developing a mobile MRI that could fit in a van instead of a lorry

The new technology will be a great boost for healthcare, especially in in hard to access emergency areas. There is also a lot of potential for use in the the wellness sector.