Cities in action: Vilnius's interactive energy classification map

  • environment
  • knowledge society

Our latest 'cities in action' case study looks at how Vilnius is raising awareness of energy efficiency in apartment blocks using an interactive online map.

Many of the apartment blocks that are home to over a third of Vilnius’s 600,000 citizens are poorly insulated and have traditional centralised heating systems. Studies have shown that the energy efficiency of these buildings could be improved by up to 50% with major renovation. 

With the reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions being a major priority for Vilnius, the city identified 2,800 buildings out of its 4,799 apartment blocks that would deliver significant energy efficiency improvements through modernisation. By 2012, 96 of these blocks had undergone refurbishment, but other homeowner associations needed more convincing. 

Dr Romanas Savickas of Vilnius Gediminas University worked closely with Vilnius Municipal Government and the energy company UAB Vilniaus Energija, to come up with a solution. He developed an interactive energy map that displays the actual energy efficiency of every residential block in the city. It groups the buildings into six energy efficiency ratings, from very good to extremely poor, all colour coded. This allows for easy comparison and the map can be accessed online, using a computer or smartphone, allowing citizens to find the energy performance of their building at the touch of a button. 

By January 2015, the map had been accessed and viewed more than 200,000 times, helping raise public awareness of the state of energy efficiency in the city’s housing blocks. With this increase in awareness, Vilnius is confident that many more homeowner associations will vote in favour of modernisation. Its aim is for a further 240 blocks to be renovated by 2016, and a total of 600 by 2020. This would have the potential to cut CO2 emissions by 1,800 tonnes a year. 

Read more about the interactive energy classification map, which won the EUROCITIES 2014 award for innovation, in our latest ‘cities in action’ case study, available at the link below.