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.
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