The Energy Improvement Circle Tool is a digital energy model developed by AREA 21. The model will be applied to the Energy Improvement District (EID) in Helsingborg, Sweden (i.e. Helsingborg Hospital Area) and is designed to identify and quantify smart energy solutions with a reduced cost and climate footprint.

During the past decades, energy efficiency has often been seen as the amount of energy saved at a building level. But with the transformation of the energy system from fossil energy to renewable sources, not only energy saving is important, but also efficiency. An increasing part of the electricity supply now comes from intermittent sources like wind and solar. As a result, it is vital to expand the meaning of the expression energy efficiency from building centred, to system centred. The Energy Improvement Circle Tool has a twofold purpose: Firstly, it is designed to support professional users (i.e. facility managers and administrative leaders) in deciding how to optimise energy use in economical and environmental terms. Secondly, through the visualisation of energy data, the tool raises awareness among end-users about energy usage and supply dynamics.

Print screen from Energy Improvement Circle Tool (Overview of electricity use, -prices and -emissions for the Helsingborg EID (i.e. Helsingborg Hospital Area))

The Energy Improvement Circle Tool develops an energy model of the Helsingborg EID using data from 2018 onwards. Existing ICT-tools are used to combine different data-sources in order to determine and simulate efficient energy use, decrease energy costs, lower the consumption of heat and electricity power and reduce the EID’s climate footprint

The tool’s analysis is limited to electricity and district heating use, which calculate the climate footprint from CO2-equivalents. Benefits of the tool include:

  • analysing the operation of a building from an energy usage point of view, with a possibility to perform analysis of energy in detail at hourly intervals;
  • quantifying possible savings of money and CO2-equivalents;
  • optimizing energy efficiency both on building-level as well as EID level; and
  • bridging the gap between technical aspects of energy efficiency and the potentials of stakeholder cooperation, by providing an improved knowledge basis for decision-making.

The Energy Improvement Circle Tool by design, seeks to decrease energy cost and the climate footprint of buildings. Rather than just reducing electricity consumption; the focus is on how to decrease the use of energy at the right time. The tool is embedded in the larger processes of the Helsingborg EID, as it contributes to several of the EID’s strategic goals and objectives. To learn more about the Energy Improvement Circle Tool, please check these presentation slides as well as this comprehensive report describing the methodology (pdf).