Zooming in Örebro pilot site

Jonas Tannerstad, engineering manager of ÖrebroBostäder AB, has the duty to manage Varberga site in Örebro, Sweden for the implementation of the BECA project. We talked to him in an interview to get a closer look on the pilot site.

How will the services be provided?

The expectation is to achieve 15% energy savings by using temperature sensors to control building central heating and 20% water savings by the installation of smart metering devices. The water consumption will be measured individually and presented on a web portal with tabular visualisation of changes and costs per month. OpenNet, a service distributor and Communications Operator, is in charge of developing this portal service. Optimisation of energy management will be reached by setting a maximum inside temperature in all dwellings at 21°C, also to avoid tenants overheating their flats. The frequency of temperature measurement and storage will be every 15 minutes.

What are the characteristics of your target users?

Target users are Varberga site tenants and Örebro housing company technical staff. Tenants already have a high home based internet access rate which will facilitate the usability of the tenant portal. Due to a low representation of migrants, the tenant portal will be conceived for locals, as it is not the case with other project’s pilot sites. The ÖrebroBostäder AB in house service department is already familiar with the Varberga site. They will manage the BECA system and get profit from following resource measurement to improve their operation.

How are you planning to reach target users with BECA services?

Actually, the Varberga site is undergoing refurbishment works. The first feedback on the energy consumption reduction is a shift from 148kw/h to 95kw/h. Therefore, controlling central heating temperature will permit technical staff to better manage the heating system and decrease energy consumption costs. Also, some dwellings are already equipped with individual water smart meters. ÖrebroBostäder AB already experienced an unexpected impact on tenants’ behaviour, who reduce their consumption between 25-30%, only because they were aware of the service. Once reinforcing tenants’ awareness with the web portal, more positive results can be obtained and maintained over time.

How is the project contributing in your region?

The project contributes to encourage the local development of energy efficiency in social housing and to show Swedish stakeholders the advantages of the services. Also, the BECA approach demonstrates the importance of keeping good relations with tenants to encourage their involvement on decision making of the housing services improvement.

How is the tenants’ openness and willingness to use BECA services?

Actually, Varberga tenants do not pay for their energy consumption as it is included in the monthly rent. However, with the implementation of smart metering for water, they will pay in a real basis their water monthly consumption. General impressions from Varberga tenants collated in focus group meetings, are that it is a great opportunity to save money, only paying for what you consume, not for what your neighbor consumes. With the web service, they will be able to view the consumption data and therefore start to be more active in trying to reduce it. Finally, they see more benefits if the same system would allow services connected to a mobile phone.