Calculation of a baseline for the district energy consumption

SINFONIA aims at a significant reduction of the energy demand in pioneer districts of the two demo cities Innsbruck and Bolzano. In order to evaluate the effect of demonstration measures implemented in the pioneer districts, a baseline of the district energy demand prior to the measures is required. Obtaining the needed input data is particularly challenging, since it obtains sensitive information on electricity and heating networks and data exchange is restricted by strong data protection and data exchange laws in Austria.

In the framework of SINFONIA a series of energy efficiency measure is implemented on a district scale. The calculation of a baseline for energy demand allows the evaluation of the effects of implemented demonstration measures on the energy demand of the district. The collection of input data and the harmonization of different data sources represent temporal and organizational challenges that should be taking into account already in the planning phase.

For the calculation of the baseline for the energy demand in Innsbruck´s SINFONIA district input data from various partners (City of Innsbruck, IKB, TIGAS, NHT, IIG) was required. Since all involved parties have to correspond to data protection laws, they have a restrictive data policy and data is not shared openhandedly. In order to meet the legal and institutional data protection requirements a special data security contract was developed.

In addition, the connection of data from different sources represents a further challenge. Input data from different institutions do not have a common, shared and unique key and hence, have to be harmonized.

When actual consumption data was not available, the energy demand was estimated through calculation and calibrated with data from similar buildings. The energy demand will not be published on the building scale but aggregated in a 100 x 100 m raster to correspond to data security regulations.


The collection and harmonization of input data for the calculation of a baseline for the district energy demand is very time-consuming, due to the strong Austrian data protection and data exchange laws. A contract for data usage that is accepted by all partners and corresponds to the legal requirements allowed the exchange of required input data.

Lessons learnt:

The data protection law in Austria is rather strict, which makes obtaining the required input data very challenging. To correspond to the law and institutional constraints, special procedures and/or data usage contracts had to be developed, considering the claims of all involved parties.

Beyond that, data from different institutions/ sources had to be connected. The design of a harmonized database and the harmonization of data, that is required for the baseline calculation, needs a considerable amount of time.