An overview of the Hammarby Sjöstad energy community, its history, its aims, and the challenges.

The pilot in Stockholm takes place in Hammarby Sjöstad, a city-close district with over 20,000 residents. Hammarby Sjöstad was initially planned as an Olympic village for the 2004 Olympics. One condition for the Olympic application was an environmental program. In 1996 this resulted in an environmental program that came to be known as the Hammarby Model. The program aimed to integrate infrastructure systems such as waste management, water purification, heating, and electricity. The goal was to minimize the area’s energy consumption, primarily by utilizing residual products.

It turned out that energy consumption was not as low as planned, and since the early 2010s, ElectriCITY Innovation has worked with many housing associations to achieve energy efficiency improvements and transition to renewable energy in the buildings.

Formation of an Energy Community
A previous research project (IntegrCiTy) also discovered that there is a lack of capacity in certain transformer stations in Hammarby Sjöstad. According to the Distribution System Operator (DSO), there is a risk of power shortage in Stockholm as the city grows and the demand for electricity increases. Therefore, there is a significant need to ensure electricity production capacity and to meet the demand for electricity in Stockholm, especially when needs are greatest during the winter.

This is part of the background to the energy community that has now been formed in Hammarby Sjöstad and is included as a pilot in RESCHOOL.

It is a unique collaboration where new technology is tested in existing multi-family buildings with the aim of increasing sustainability in buildings, neighbourhoods, the city, and globally. The energy community initiative is supported by the Swedish Energy Agency,” says says Jörgen Lööf of ElectriCITY .

Goals of the Energy Community
The goals of the energy community are to:

• Share electricity

• Collaborate to reduce energy consumption

• Increase renewable electricity production

• Reduce total power demand

• Save money together

By inspiring, comparing, and learning from each other, virtually sharing electricity tax-free among members, controlling electricity and heating usage during low-cost hours, conducting joint procurements, and promoting sustainability, we strive to create a more efficient and sustainable energy usage for our members.” says Ulrika Jardfelt, ElectriCITY, chairperson of the energy community.

A schematic overview of the data flow system of the Swedish pilot site.

Interest and Participation

Many housing associations were interested in participating when the energy community, organized as a cooperative association, was formally established in the fall of 2023. In the end, nine housing associations became founding members, and there is already a waiting list of more associations wanting to join.

Energy Class Journey
In the first phase, the energy community focuses on making energy efficiency improvements in the members’ buildings with the goal of achieving an energy class upgrade and lowering the primary energy number. Initially to 68 kWh/m² Atemp, but ideally as low as possible.

The reason is simple: Properties that fall into energy classes A and B are favored in the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), making it easier for them to access capital in the form of bank loans.

The information about primary energy numbers comes from the calculations made in the energy declaration, which in turn is based on accumulated and compiled annual energy consumption data.

The energy community aims to produce primary energy numbers on a rolling monthly basis so that members can follow the results of efficiency measures continuously and not just every 10 years when the energy declaration is made. The idea is also that when this information is available, comparisons can be made between properties and between energy consumption for different purposes within the buildings, to inspire and showcase good examples among the members.

App Support

An important part of the work with the energy community in Hammarby Sjöstad is developing a digital platform and an app to support the members of the energy community.

The intention of the app, developed by LocalLife, is to:

• Develop a centralized platform where members can monitor and compare energy data for their properties.

• Implement features for virtual sharing of electricity between members using a payment settlement system.

• Offer advice and instructions for automatically optimizing energy usage and reducing the common power demand.

• Integrate with flexibility markets to enable participation and trading in energy services.

The goal is for the app to make it easier for members to optimize their energy usage and benefit from the collaboration within the community, but also to contribute to increased interest and understanding of energy usage and performance, increased ability to act on energy issues, and understand their role in the energy community.” says Jörgen Lööf of ElectriCITY.

RESCHOOL members visit one of the housing associations participating in the pilot site.

Challenges Along the Way

During the development of the app, both challenges and lessons have emerged for the continued work. A significant and time-consuming problem has been, and still is, obtaining comparable data from the nine members in the digital platform.

Data transfer for building electricity works just fine, but when it comes to other energy data, there are numerous different systems of various brands installed in all buildings. For example, EV chargers, solar panels, heating and ventilation.

There are several different systems that are not compatible, meaning they speak different “languages.”

By using the RealEstateCore ontology, it becomes possible to describe all properties and their objects in the same way, connect the systems, and collect all data in one platform. This then makes it possible to build applications and communicate with the properties’ systems. The problem today is, however, that the data needs to be described and tagged to be described according to RealEstateCore. And this involves a lot of manual work.

When all data is in the platform and the property is connected, the data required for calculation and comparison will come in automatically, and members can follow the development in the app.” says Hossein Shahrokni of Locallife.