More can be done to improve energy efficiency according to the Swedish government

Sweden will meet energy use and efficiency target set by the EU, but more can be done, according to the Swedish Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications.

A report, 'A more energy-efficient Sweden,’ outlining further steps to be taken, has been presented to Maud Olofsson, the Minister for Enterprise and Energy.

Under the European Energy End-use Efficiency and Energy Services Directive (2006/32/EC) the Member States have to improve the efficiency of their energy use by at least 9 % by 2016. The Member States are required to draw up national plans to bring about these savings.

The Ministry said in a release: ‘It is crucial to save energy through greater efficiency in energy use. Europe has become increasingly dependent on energy imports. Energy prices are rising. This affects the competitiveness of businesses. Climate problems are a reality. Reduced energy use benefits both the environment and the competitiveness of businesses.’

Sweden is predicted to achieve an improvement of just over 10 % in energy efficiency by 2016 with the instruments currently applied.

"We should not be content just to meet the EU target. With such great cost-effective potential for efficiency improvement there is reason to go further and adopt a more ambitious savings target than the EU requires. Both economic factors and consideration of the environment favour doing so," says the Swedish Government´s special investigator Tomas Bruce.

The inquiry provides examples of around thirty possible instruments that can be used to achieve greater energy efficiency improvements in Sweden. These relate for instance to how information on energy efficiency can be strengthened and how the public sector can serve as a model for others.