Demand Response in District Heating Market—Results of the Field Tests in Student Apartment Buildings

Paula Ala-kotila (Corresponding Author), Terttu Vainio, Janne Heinonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents the field test of the developed demand response system installed in the central heating systems of existing apartment buildings. The buildings are occupied by students and located in Tampere, Finland, which is within the northern climate zone. The studied buildings are connected to the local district heating network. The presented demand response system takes into account weather forecasts, indoor temperatures and decreases in space heating temperatures when demand for domestic hot water is the highest. The owner of the buildings benefits from peak demand control and can save in fixed fees. If enough buildings would have this kind of demand response control system, there would be a decreased need for utility companies to use peak power plants that typically use fossil fuels for heat production. In this field test, the peak load decrease was 14%–15% on average. During the test, the heating period of February and March, the normalized energy consumption of eight buildings was reduced by 11%, which represents a 9% annual cut in energy, costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Demand Response (DR) heating aims to help in reaching the objectives of the National Energy and Climate Strategy for 2030.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-171
JournalSmart cities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Funding: This research was funded by the STARDUST project (Holistic and integrated urban model for smart cities), Grant agreement number 774094, which received funding from the European Union´s framework program Horizon 2020 for research and innovation.


  • demand response
  • district heating
  • demand response of buildings
  • demand response of district heating
  • energy efficiency
  • district heating markets
  • field test
  • Field test
  • District heating
  • Demand response
  • Demand response of buildings
  • Demand response of district heating
  • District heating markets
  • Energy efficiency


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