Copenhagen is digitizing energy and water consumption data from municipal buildings to bring about significant savings and plan strategic efficiency upgrades.

The municipality of Copenhagen is working with utility companies to establish extensive energy and water surveillance systems in all municipal buildings, providing data that can be studied and analyzed on one central platform. Using high-resolution data from smart electricity, heat, and water meters, the city can identify leaks in real time and plan strategic upgrades to inefficient buildings.

The scheme, which has a payback time of just six years, is unique in that it combines information from many building management systems on one platform. In 2016, the surveillance system helped to save 6,500 MWh of heat and 1,345 MWh of electricity. The city plans to extend the scheme to some of the largest privately owned buildings in the capital, helping to further bring down energy consumption. This is part of the city-wide climate strategy that has put Copenhagen on the road to CO2 neutrality by 2025.

90% of municipal buildings send hourly data updates on energy and water use

The challenge

Seventy-six percent of the water pipelines in Copenhagen are more than 60 years old, and 11% are more than 100 years old. With aging infrastructure comes a higher risk of leakage, so having a smart surveillance network can yield energy, water, and utility bill savings for residents.


Economic Once fully implemented, the scheme is forecast to save approximately $6 million annually with a payback time of six years. 

Environmental In addition to the energy savings the surveillance system is accruing, it is estimated that in 2016 the project saved 30 million liters of groundwater. 

Social The city is working with schools to develop a program that uses the energy data for educational purposes to engage children in energy efficiency thinking from an early age.

About Copenhagen

Copenhagen is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. The city has a population of 763,908 (as of December 2016), of whom 601,448 live in the Municipality of Copenhagen. Copenhagen is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; another small portion of the city is located on Amager, and is separated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund. Originally a Viking fishing village founded in the 10th century, Copenhagen became the capital of Denmark in the early 15th century. Since the turn of the 21st century, Copenhagen has seen strong urban and cultural development, facilitated by investment in its institutions and infrastructure. Copenhagen’s economy has seen rapid developments in the service sector, especially through initiatives in information technology, pharmaceuticals and clean technology.

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