Stagnating energy efficiency in the Swedish building sector--Economic and organisational explanations
Journal article, 2008
The development towards higher energy efficiency in the Swedish building sector stagnated in the late 1980s and 1990s. In new buildings the average specific energy use for heating is twice as high as in the best performing buildings 20 years ago. By combining econometric studies and interviews with actors in the building sector we analyse the underlying economic and organisational causes for this development. In the stock of buildings, specific energy use for heating (kWh/m 2 /yr) has a high correlation with increasing energy prices and price elasticities have not changed markedly over time. This implies that the stagnation to a large extent can be explained by energy price trends. On the contrary, in new buildings the correlation between energy prices and specific energy use is much weaker. One important cause of low sensitivity to price changes is that information about the life cycle cost (LCC) of different investment alternatives is often not available to the involved actors. The most common investment criterion is instead the requirements of the national building energy standard which has developed into a norm rather than a minimum for energy performance. In this paper we also discuss potential improvements in the learning processes within the sector. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Swedish building sector
Energy price elasticity