Winter holidays are coming: Telia’s data show what we do
Winter holidays are coming: Telia’s data show what we do

Winter holidays are coming: Telia’s data show what we do

Did you know that Nordic schools' winter holidays were an effort to cut energy costs during World War II? Well, the climate and environmental research institute NILU in Norway does know, and has used Telia's solution Crowd Insights to see if winter holidays still influence energy consumption. NILU looked at people's movement patterns and activity during the Norwegian winter holidays for the past five years. With these insights Norway, and other countries, can plan for coming winters.

NILU has analyzed how the Norwegian population act when the winter holiday season is upon them, but first explains the historical reason for winter holidays.

And it seems to be about heating and money – and fun too.

Apparently, the Norwegian winter of 1942 was freezing, and schools relied on costly fuels like coal for heating. At that time, Norway was occupied by Germany and to save costs, German authorities temporarily closed schools for a week during the coldest period. But even before the war, the Swedish Government had introduced a week off school during winter, for much the same reason. Then, after the war, these northern countries realized how beneficial to our health it was to engage in sports and outdoor activities. 

Week-long winter holidays, or the “sportov”, were here for good.

Using Telia Crowd Insights in Oslo and Viken, for the period from January 2019 to today, NILU evaluated mobility and activity over time, and “learned what will most likely happen during the coming winter holidays”. Ultimately, the data is used for the institute’s work on high-resolution emissions, or air pollutants and greenhouse gases.

“Our work heavily depends on extensive datasets,” says NILU senior researcher Susana Lopez-Aparicio “These datasets provide information on various aspects of human behavior, including mobility patterns, residential and cabin usage, and travel activities both domestically and internationally. Telia Crowd Insights has opened new opportunities for advancing our understanding of the timing and locations of activities and their resulting emissions.”

NILU writes: “In 2023, for example, week 8 stands out from its predecessors (week 1-7). In Oslo and surrounding areas, the activity drop is equivalent to 100 000 people leaving. This is a large chunk of the population – where did they all go?”

By using the Telia data, the institute could see that the mountainous part of western Buskerud, formerly known as Viken, was a popular choice. Activity here increased by up to 150 percent, as the area hosts ski resorts such as Geilo, Ål, Hemsedal and Norefjell. 

But what about the original idea behind winter holidays,to save energy by not having to heat schools? NILU concluded that today heating in both schools and in private homes is often left on regardless of if we are there or not. To take on such energy consumption challenges, Telia’s Smart Buildings offering includes solutions that let property owners optimize their building operations and management in real time, through for example heating optimization and indoor monitoring. 

However, NILU was able to gain many more interesting insights. You can find them, and the article, here.

Telia Crowd Insights provides information derived from anonymized and aggregated data from the mobile network .

Read more about Telia Crowd Insights here.  

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