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Preparing for possible power outages in the City of Helsinki’s services

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. In such a case, electricity consumption must be limited and power outages may also be possible. In accordance with the preparedness obligation, municipalities must ensure that they can carry out their tasks as well as possible even in the event of a disturbance. Possible power outages and their effects have been prepared for in the services of the City of Helsinki.
Symboleina ovat infoa kuvaava i-kirjain, valaistusta kuvaava lamppu, sähköä kuvaava sähköjohto ja lämmitystä kuvaava symboli.

Preparedness measures are planned on the basis of Fingrid’s preliminary estimate regarding short power outages of no more than two hours. Outages are being prepared for in all divisions of the city and in the companies and foundations of the Helsinki City Group. 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. 

In cultural and other leisure facilities, such as libraries, museums, cultural centres, youth centres and indoor sports facilities, including swimming pools, activities are interrupted and customers are guided outside to ensure safety. The situation is prepared for in the Culture and Leisure Division by going through operating instructions and practices in case of power outages. 

The city’s social and healthcare services are prepared to secure electricity supply for critical services in all situations. Electricity supply is secured in hospitals, for example, by backup power. In those social and healthcare services that do not have access to backup power, patient and customer safety is ensured by other measures. 

The Education Division prepares for power outages by going through operating instructions and practices on what to do in the event of a power outage. 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 as much 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 the facilities that are open, statutory meals are provided and special diets taken into consideration. Drills deemed necessary and suitable are organised with the learners and staff at the facilities in order to prepare for an imaginary power outage lasting about a quarter of an hour. Guardians will also be informed about preparing and practising for an electricity shortage and power outages so that the matter can be discussed in advance at home. 

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 from outdoor lighting and thawing systems for thoroughfares.   

Updated information on the city’s energy preparedness is available on the City of Helsinki’s website at hel.fi/energia.