Heating and decarbonisation

Talvimaisema, etualalla puita, takana Kalasataman tornit ja savupiippu


Energy production and use play a significant role in achieving Helsinki’s carbon neutrality goal. The energy efficiency of the city’s own building stock is improved and the amount of renewable energy is increased every time the buildings are renovated, but also through separate energy efficiency renovations.

In the city’s own business premises, district heating will account for 98 per cent of heating in 2023. A small percentage of the buildings are still heated by oil or electricity, but in these properties, heating modes are constantly being upgraded to lower-emission options. The share of heat pumps is also increasing.

In new construction and renovation projects, the profitability of geothermal and air-to-water heat pumps is always assessed. A heat pump is always chosen as the main heating system if it is technically possible and economically viable. A heat pump system is selected in almost all new construction projects, and in renovations, the share is somewhat lower due to the limitations of existing buildings and their plots.

City of Helsinki’s energy experts


The green transition took a concrete leap on 1 April 2023, when the Hanasaari B power plant that had served the residents of Helsinki for nearly 50 years was decommissioned. As the power plant used coal as its main fuel, its decommissioning cut carbon dioxide emissions significantly and enabled a major leap towards the goal of carbon neutral energy production by 2030. The impacts of the decommissioning are not negligible at the national level either, as in its final years, the power plant produced about two per cent of Finland’s emissions. 

In the future, Helsinki will be heated with decentralised energy production, and the heat will be recovered from several sources: land, air and water. Helen Oy aims to make its energy system carbon neutral by 2030 and to phase out incineration by 2040.

Helsinki will switch from a system based on fossil fuels to electrified heat production, with waste and environmental heat, electric boilers and sustainably produced bioenergy at its core. The homes and properties in Helsinki are heated by, for example, the Katri Vala heat pump plant, which produces renewable district heating and cooling from purified wastewater. In addition, the peak demand for district heat is balanced out by promoting smart heat management in properties.