The implementation of energy saving policies and their influence on energy use and cultural values in the housing stock of Sweden
Paper in proceeding, 2020
Introduction: The overall objective is to understand how policies may be used to increase the potential for saving energy while simultaneously preserving cultural values in the housing stock. The project contributes to SDGs 11, 17, 5, 8 and 10. Methods: The paper summarises and discusses findings in previous research and projects led by the authors. Finally the design of a new project launched in 2020 is presented. The purpose of Energy efficiency and cultural values. How well do the policies function on the local level? is to give valuable knowledge on how the building process, advice on energy use and renovation strategies work together in Swedish municipalities. Results: Since the 1970s there has been a conflict between the preservation of architectural heritage and decreasing energy use in the Swedish housing stock. The first policy programme focussing energy saving was launched after the first global energy crisis in 1973. Since then there have been different policies addressing the issue of energy use in housing. The knowledge of how to carefully renovate existing buildings has increased, but the incentives for cutting energy use further has diminished among property managers. As a consequence, there is very little renovation aiming at energy efficiency, which challenges the national goals of lessening the impact on climate change. One problem may be an incoherent and inefficient implementation of policies dealing with the preservation and the energy use of the built environment. Conclusions: The antagonism between energy efficiency and cultural heritage that emerged in the 1970s has changed in character. Above all, increased energy efficiency seems not to be a very strong force when designing renovation projects in homes. If Agenda 2030 goals of accomplishing a well-built environment that does not require unsustainable practices to be sustained are to be reached, new policies will be required. Grant support: The research has been supported by the Swedish Energy Agency (grant #50041-1).