Green everyday living made easier for Mimer tenants
Bostads AB Mimer in Västerås is one of Sweden’s oldest housing companies. Despite its age, the company is at the cutting edge as a major investor in sustainable technology. Since 2014, the company has used a wind turbine at the Bösjövarden wind farm to produce its own green electricity in partnership with OX2. Mikael Söderberg, Head of Business Development at Mimer, was responsible for the project.
Why is Mimer investing in wind power?
We believe that it is important for our tenants to feel that they rent their homes from a company which accepts responsibility for its impact on the environment. It is an essential part of our brand building. By investing in our own wind power production, we have complete control over the origin of the electricity. Naturally, there is also a financial aspect, since we want to keep down the cost of electricity as much as possible. With our own wind power, we not only have full control over production but also an extremely accurate idea of cost. A third and equally important aspect is that we at Mimer want to make it ”easy to do the right thing” and we make every effort to smooth the way for our tenants to make the right environmental choices. This includes, for example, producing our own green electricity and making it easy for tenants to sort their waste at source. By opting for us as their landlord, they know that they have made an excellent environmental choice.
How is the electricity from the wind turbine used?
It is used purely as household electricity for day-to-day activities, for example to run lifts, fans, lighting, washing machines etc. Almost half of the electricity we use comes from our wind turbine in Dalarna County.
NHow interested are your tenants in green electricity?
Interest in sustainability issues is constantly increasing, and it is important for us to demonstrate that we are at the cutting edge in this area. It is also important to remember that Mimer may be the largest “business partner” our tenants have. A large proportion of their income is spent on housing, and our tenants have a right to expect the best from us. And it is, of course, important to show them that we are taking a positive and proactive approach, and what we are achieving. Our tenants have been able to follow the development of the wind turbine through articles and notices published at regular intervals in our customer magazine.
About Mimer in Västerås
- Local authority housing company, owned by the City of Västerås
- 120 employees (September 2015)
- 11,500 homes
- Owns a wind turbine at Bösjövarden wind farm. The wind farm produces 8 GWh/year
Do you also give your tenants a chance to benefit from sustainability?
Mimer was the first housing company in Sweden to offer “green tenancy agreements” to its tenants. Through this agreement, we encourage them to do a little bit more for the environment. They undertake to make a greater effort. In return, they receive a whole range of offers from our partners. Under the terms of the agreement, we will, for example, visit their homes and quality assure things like ventilation systems and taps. They also receive a start-up package with practical items for day-to-day waste sorting. Last but not least, we organise study visits and talks.
How has the partnership with OX2 worked?
It has worked out really well. It was a long process, from initial contacts and calculations to the point where electricity was actually delivered. I have taken a very keen interest in this and managed the process on behalf of the Board of Directors. I have learned a lot about the financial aspects and the technology during the implementation of the project. I would strongly recommend engaging a consultant for the work if there is no time to do it yourself. There are lots of knowledgeable people who can help out. We did most of the work ourselves and benefitted from a very profitable and professional dialogue with OX2. In fact, we still do.
Tell us a bit more about Mimer
Mimer is one of Sweden’s oldest housing companies. It was set up in 1920 as the result of a partnership between the City of Västerås and two major companies, ASEA and Svenska Metallverken. The city grew as the industrial sector expanded, and the increasing number of workers and office staff needed somewhere to live. Since the mid-1930s, the company has been owned by the City of Västerås. Mimer’s aim is to be the best housing company in Sweden. The green investment is an important part of this ambition. Our staff are committed to making the company better for our customers. We recently had clear evidence that we are moving in the right direction when Mimer shared first place with Linköping in the Customer Satisfaction Index survey for public services.