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Finland launches energy saving campaign

In the face of an energy crisis, the Finnish government is seeking to cut back electricity consumption through an information campaign aimed at households.

Höyryä ja voimalinjoja
With a looming energy crisis, the Finnish government is launching a campaign to urge people to save electricity. Image: Esko Jämsä / AOP
Yle News

Finland’s government unveiled the details of a nationwide energy saving campaign at an event in Turku on Thursday afternoon.

The campaign was reported last month, and urges households to save energy in the face of a crisis brought on by Russia's war in Ukraine.

The last time a similar campaign was implemented in Finland was during the oil crisis of the 1970s.

Behind the campaign are the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, state-owned sustainable development firm Motiva, the Finnish Energy Authority, the Ministry of the Environment and the Prime Minister's office.

Kati Laakso, Motiva's communications director, was one of the presenters at the Turku event, and said that the government plans to appeal to people's sense of patriotism and national identity.

"Perhaps the emotional side is important here. Even if this doesn't bother you, it's good to take care of your neighbour so that there's enough electricity for all of us in the coming heating season," Laakso said.

The campaign aims to get three out of four people living in FInland to reduce their own energy consumption during the coming winter months and hope that the adopted habits will be permanent.

"The long-term goal is to reach permanently lower energy consumption and equalise consumption peaks," Laakso emphasised.

In his speech, Minister of Economic Affairs and Employment Mika Lintilä (Cen), warned that no rapid reductions in energy prices are to be expected.

"Unfortunately, it seems that there is no going back to the old prices," Lintilä stated.

Lintilä went on to say that this was becoming the norm around Europe, as Spain has already instituted cooling and heating limits and Germany has restricted hot showers in public pools.

"A degree lower"

The campaign's theme is "A degree lower," intended to turn down temperatures on internal heating by at least one degree. However, it also applies to motorists saving on petrol by exercising a light foot on the pedal.

Laakso also urged people to put away entertainment electronics this winter.

"Let's read a book by the light of a lantern. It could be a fun thing to do with the kids sometimes," Laakso said.

In October, during Finland's national energy saving week, more concrete saving steps will be presented, as the campaign officially kicks into gear.

Shorter showers

There has already been talk in the public domain about, among other things, a call to limit showers to five minutes next winter.

However, Laakso, who is in charge of the campaign, did not announce any actual time limits.

"But if you have a teenager living at home, maybe after five or ten minutes you could go and knock on the door of the shower room," Laakso noted.

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