Saving energy and preparing for power outages

The City of Helsinki is preparing for the coming winter by reducing its energy consumption and preparing for possible power outages. This page explains these efforts and provides other useful information. Here you can find energy saving tips, an introduction to the city's no-cost energy consultation service for housing companies, and further information on the national 'Down a degree' campaign, in which Helsinki is proud to be a partner.

Three symbols about the use of electricity.

How does the city save energy?

The indoor temperatures of our premises will be set at 20°C as a rule, in line with national recommendations. In certain buildings, such as housing services for older people and people with disabilities, the temperature will be maintained at 21–22°C.

Room temperatures will be lowered at indoor sports facilities (excluding swimming pool areas), libraries, youth centres, cultural centres and museums (excluding the Helsinki Art Museum HAM and the Helsinki City Museum’s collection centre, where warmer temperatures are necessary to preserve the art).

Ventilation running times and intensities will also be adjusted more precisely to suit the need.

In locations with remotely controlled LED lights, street and park lighting will be dimmed, particularly during those hours when electricity consumption is the highest. Trail lighting will be dimmed between 23.00. and 6.00. These dimming measures will begin in stages, as their implementation will require extensive modifications to some outdoor lighting network connections.

Christmas lights in public areas will only be switched on during the holidays, from the opening of Helsinki’s Christmas Street until Epiphany weekend (19 November 2022–8 January 2023). Most of the city’s Christmas lights, such as those on Aleksanterinkatu, get their electricity from the adjacent properties, however, so it is up to the property owners to decide.


The use of the saunas at the City of Helsinki Sports Services’ swimming halls in the districts of Itäkeskus, Jakomäki, Pirkkola and at Yrjönkatu will be limited so not all of the saunas will be heated at the same time. The steam sauna at the Itäkeskus swimming hall will be closed until further notice. 

At swimming halls run by the Urheiluhallit company, the opening hours of saunas use will also be limited before 16.00 on weekdays in locations with more than one sauna. This applies to swimming halls in the chain’s Mäkelänrinne, Vuosaari, Töölö and Helsinginkatu locations. We encourage our residents to use the saunas at the swimming halls instead of their own saunas at home.

The freezing of artificial ice rinks in Helsinki will start when the average daily temperature is below 2°C. In the past, freezing started when the average temperature fell below 5°C.

If winter temperatures remain above 2°C in winter, freezing will start in mid-December and end by the end of February 2023. However, the artificial ice rinks at Brahekenttä and in the district of Oulunkylä will be frozen according to the normal schedule, from mid-November to mid-March, weather conditions permitting.

A functioning city during power outages

During the winter, the production and import of electricity may not be sufficient to cover consumption in Europe, and there may also be a shortage of electricity in Finland.Possible power outages and their effects have been prepared for in the services of the City of Helsinki.

During short power outages, the aim is mainly to provide the city’s services as usual, with a view to safety aspects. Some of the services will be interrupted for the duration of the power outage.

Health and social services are open, and we will continue to provide services delivered at home. Our staff gives advice and guidance at service points.

Teaching in primary education, early childhood education and pre-primary education will be continued if it can be done safely. Primary education, early childhood education and pre-primary education facilities will also remain open during a power outage. The aim is to keep upper secondary education and liberal adult education facilities open to as large an extent as possible.

Vocational education will be interrupted in the event of a power outage. If the power outage is known in advance, part of the teaching can be planned to take place at another time.

In cultural and other leisure facilities, such as libraries, museums, cultural centres, youth centres and indoor sports facilities, including swimming pools, activities will be suspended, and customers will be guided outside to ensure safety.

The users of the space will be asked to leave the premises immediately. Note: This does not apply to children and special groups in guided activities, which are taken care of by the instructor until the guardians come and pick up the children or customers belonging to another special group.

During a power outage, street lights and traffic lights will be out of service. Special caution must be observed when driving, cycling and walking, and the speed must be adapted to the conditions. It is advised to wear reflectors and make sure that bicycles have appropriate lights.

Fees paid for the use of premises made via the premise booking service Varaamo and in cultural centres, youth spaces and museums will be reimbursed if the booking is cancelled due to a power cut. Cancelled premise bookings for sports services will not be charged for the duration of the power cut. Partially cancelled premise bookings for sports services will be charged for the time that the power was on.

If your booking is cancelled, please inform the appropriate service as follows:

  • Bookings made via Varaamo: Inform the unit where the reservation was made directly.
  • Youth services spaces: Inform the unit where the reservation was made directly.
  • Sport services: Inform opens default mail program)
  • Museums: Inform the museum where the reservation was made.
  • Cultural centre facilities: Inform the cultural centre directly. Premise bookings in cultural centres will primarily be rescheduled. If they cannot be rescheduled, no fee will be charged. If a premise booking made by a third party is cancelled due to a power cut, the city is not obliged to reimburse the tickets for performances, performers’ fees or other expenses.

Helsinki has also prepared with other swift and, if necessary, temporary measures to reduce energy consumption and to better safeguard services. The aim is to reduce consumption by optimising temperatures and ventilation in all suitable city premises, and by reducing energy consumption at sports facilities by various means. In addition, energy will be saved by reducing outdoor lighting and thawing systems for thoroughfares.