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AI to help Stockholmers with their energy use

Inner courtyard in Norra Djurgårdsstaden, Stockholm.
Inner courtyard in Norra Djurgårdsstaden, Stockholm. Photo: City of Stockholm
Published Apr 28, 2023

Over the course of two years, KTH researchers will build a digital platform, a chatbot and an advisory function based on AI that can help individuals and property associations in their efforts to curb energy costs and consumption. The project has been funded by ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability, through a 10 million grant from Google. Researchers from SEED will lead two work packages in the project. Hossein Sharokhni who is an expert researcher in data analysis and AI for sustainable city development will implement work package 1 while work package 2 will be implemented by professor Ulla Mörtberg with expertise in data analysis for urban climate planning.

"The hope is that we will help residents with their energy use. We will also help housing associations monitor their properties' operation and make it easier for the City of Stockholm to provide energy advice," says Anne Håkansson, Professor at UiT, Norway and Associate Professor at KTH, Sweden and project manager of a new project called "DigiCityClimate".

The project has been funded by ICLEI, Local Governments for Sustainability, through a 10 million grant from Google.

Stockholm is one of seven cities to have received such funding. The other cities are Barcelona, Dortmund, Glasgow, Rome and Rotterdam.

Climate smart decisions

Håkansson and her colleagues are collaborating with ElectriCITY Innovation and Stockholm Green Innovation District, two associations with the goal of building sustainable and climate-smart neighbourhoods.

In the project, the researchers will collect data from properties and residents in order to provide specific advice about their energy use. Property owners in Stockholm will get better control of how much electricity is used and whether their energy system works properly. They will also receive recommendations on how they can reduce energy consumption via a digital control room.

"Through the models we build, we can look at how much energy is used today and make predictions. We will build a chatbot that can provide advice and information, such as when it is best to wash or turn on your dishwasher so that residents and property owners can become climate smart. This will ultimately give those living in the City of Stockholm better control over their climate footprint," says Håkansson.

Microclimate a focus

Another important aspect of the project is studying various microclimates in Stockholm. This means looking in detail at which areas heat up more than others and linking this to the city's greenery and the design of the buildings. Work on this has already been initiated through Stockholm Heat, another KTH project.

"This is a great help for the City of Stockholm when planning new housing and developing existing areas. Important lessons can be learnt by looking at existing areas and the problems that have been built in there," says Björn Laumert, Head of the Department of Power and Heat Technology at KTH.

Belongs to: Sustainable development, environmental science and engineering (SEED)
Last changed: Apr 28, 2023