City of Espoo is a finalist in the Earth Hour City Challenge -competition

Press release from the City of Espoo, Finland  26 January 2015

City of Espoo is a finalist in the Earth Hour City Challenge -competition

The Energy Information Service took Espoo to the finals of WWF’s international Earth Hour City Challenge competition. The Energy Information System is a web service that helps property owners to identify renewable energy sources for buildings. In the Energy Information Service, the user – such as a resident, property manager, renewable energy equipment supplier, property owner or real estate investor – can compare the costs of different energy forms and production possibilities within their own property.

The goal of the competition is to determine the pioneer cities in fighting climate change. The competition especially emphasised the cities’ ability to guide investments into sustainable targets. The role of cities in fighting climate change is central since over 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are generated in cities.

“With the help of the Energy Information Service, we want to distribute impartial information on changing the heating method to renewable energy – easily and effortlessly! We hope that this application will improve awareness among Espoo’s property owners on the heating method choices and increase the demand for renewable energy solutions in our area,” says Energy Engineer Niina Laasonen.

Approximately one fifth of properties within Espoo are heated with electricity or fossil fuels. The share of electricity and fossil fuels in heating housing is up to 30%.

Since 2008, Espoo’s climate change action plan has led to some exciting sustainable developments. But Espoo is always looking to improve. To meet its ambitious 2030 target – reducing carbon intensity by 39% – the city is now working on options for renewable energy sources.

Further information on the Energy Information Service

The winning city will be announced April 9th

The competition hands out two prizes: The panel-selected Earth Hour Capital and the public’s favourite in the We Love Cities competition.

Voting and providing development suggestions take place at welovecities.org. The winners of both categories will be announced in April 9 in Seoul, South-Korea.

This year, a total of 163 cities participated in the Earth Hour City Challenge around the world. From among these, 44 cities from 16 countries – including Espoo, Tampere and Lahti from Finland – were selected for the finals.

Born in Espoo Innovation Garden

Espoo is a garden of innovation and adventurous experiences – Espoo Innovation Garden. It is the home of the largest high-tech and innovation hub in Northern Europe with thriving international companies, the hottest Startup Sauna on the planet, various cultural activities and sports clubs as well as a renowned community of scientists and researchers. Science and technology, business and arts all make the Garden flourish.

In the beginning of 2014 the City of Espoo applied to the European Capital of Innovation award, which was organized for the first time by the European Commission. Among the last six finalists Espoo was the only city from Northern Europe.

For more information, please contact:

The Energy Information Service: Ms Niina Laasonen, Energy Engineer, tel. +358 50369 4667

Espoo Innovation Garden: Ms Tuula Antola, Director of Economic and Business Development, tel. +358 43 824 6393

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