VVO has a long history of seeking better energy efficiency, and wise energy consumption has been a key aspect of our strategy ever since the company was established.
VVO's annual property maintenance costs total approximately EUR 140 million, of which just over a third is spent on energy. Greater energy-efficiency curbs rises in property maintenance costs and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. If VVO had not used its energy wisely, our energy costs would have risen dramatically since the turn of the millennium due to increased prices.
In 2014, the change in the temperature-corrected consumption of heating energy in VVO properties was -0.8 per cent (-2.2%) on 2013. Likewise, the change in water consumption was -0.6 per cent (-0.6%) and electricity consumption -0.7 per cent (-2.7%).
The most significant environmental impacts of VVO’s operations are associated with construction and property maintenance. The most significant impact comes from the carbon dioxide emissions caused by our property stock's energy consumption. Our energy choices have already reduced carbon dioxide emissions. District heating is used in most VVO properties, and our buildings use carbon-neutral electricity. In Finland, the energy used by buildings accounts for 39 per cent of total energy consumption, which corresponds to 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.
We boost the energy efficiency of our property stock with a variety of maintenance and operational measures without compromising on residents' comfort and living conditions. Our tenants are provided with the means for both comfortable and environmentally friendly living.
Waste management has improved in residential buildings, and we have sought to provide residents with a range of functional waste sorting facilities.
VVO's operations are based on safe and healthy living conditions. Our property management quality control system (Laaki) helps us maintain energy-efficient building technology settings and ensure healthy living conditions.
These have been increasingly monitored in recent years. Room temperatures and ventilation are automatically monitored in new properties, while regular sample measurements are taken in older properties. This increased volume of data helps us to ensure energy-efficient settings in our properties and optimum indoor conditions in our apartments.
In addition to its own developments, VVO also engages in energy-efficiency partnerships. VVO signed the Climate Commitment with the City of Helsinki in 2012, and this cooperation continued in 2014. VVO has previously committed to following the Rental Property Action Plan (VAETS), which has set a heating energy savings target of seven per cent compared to 2009. This commitment means that VVO's savings targets are higher in Helsinki than elsewhere. The Rental Property Action Plan (VAETS) savings targets for 2016 have already been achieved and, with regard to property electricity consumption, have even been exceeded.
As part of our renovations and new construction projects, VVO contributes to the development of efficient life-cycle solutions for residential buildings. Stricter construction regulations also steer us towards more energy-efficient solutions. In the coming years, we will use heat pumps to increase heat recovery ventilation in our housing stock.
CO2 emissions caused by heating energy production for VVO's properties were approximately 63,000 (68,000) tCO2. VVO seeks to alleviate the environmental impacts of energy consumption by using carbon-neutral energy for property electricity. District heating is used in 99 per cent of VVO’s properties.