Statistics Finland and Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
A recent survey has shown that heating single family houses with oil has already clearly diminished and that geothermal heating is now more common than what is shown by the data in the building stock register. This was indicated by a survey on heating energy used in small-scale housing carried out jointly by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) and Statistics Finland.
The objective of climate policy is to cut carbon dioxide emissions by supporting the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. For single family houses, this means, above all, abandoning oil fired heating. The change is taking place through new construction and renovation.
The building stock register includes data on not only the entire building stock of Finland, but also information on the heating systems in place. The data is collected at the building stage and in connection with the type of renovations that require a building permit.
– For several years, the most common heating systems for new single family houses have been geothermal heating and electricity. The proportion of oil fired heating has diminished, says senior statistician Virve Rouhiainen at Statistics Finland.
According to surveys carried out by Statistics Finland, the share of oil fired heating has diminished and the share of geothermal heating has grown clearly faster than could be deduced based on the data in the building stock register.
Geothermal heating gaining ground in single family houses
One of the data sources for the Housing Energy statistics is a sample survey on the use of fuel wood in single family houses that Luke carries out approximately every ten years. As the survey became current, it was decided to extend it to cover all sources of heating energy used in single family houses. Luke published the results for use of fuel wood on 19 June 2018.
– It was only possible to get information on used fuel wood from the residents or the owners of the buildings. In addition to amounts, for example the division between different fireplaces was accounted for, because the register does not include information on fireplaces in the buildings, says senior statistician Jukka Torvelainen at Luke.
According to the respondents, oil fired heating is clearly less common and, on the other hand, geothermal heating is more common that the data in the register reveal. The differences are repeated in all building types. The differences between the register data and the information provided by the respondents for electricity, wood and district heating are clearly smaller.
The share of district heating is on the rise and the share of electricity is on the decline. Exceptions are holiday homes for which the share of electricity as the main source of heating has increased and the share of wood has diminished.
In addition to the main source of heating, renewable sources of energy are also often used. The most traditional on among these is wood. In addition, different types of heat pumps are used as sources of additional heating, the most common of which is the air-to-air heat pump. An air-to-air heat pump is now used in nearly one in three single family houses and in up to one in five holiday houses. According to the survey, a solar collector is producing heat in only one per cent of single family houses.
Solar panels in every tenth holiday home
Approximately 65,000 single family houses use solar panels to generate electricity. The majority of these, approximately 80 per cent, are holiday homes. Solar panels are found in every tenth holiday home, whereas they are found in only one in a hundred single family homes.
The study on heating energy used in small-scale housing is a joint project for Natural Resources Institute Finland and Statistics Finland, which was, in addition to the agencies, funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, as well as the Energy Authority.