Effectiveness of land-ownership-based municipal policies for increased energy efficiency in buildings

2013 EEEN Forum

Municipalities play a key role in the implementation of the Swedish Environmental Objectives. Among the goals under the objective A good built environment is a one related to decreased energy use for heating buildings. Partly with reference to the Environmental Objectives, municipal authorities are turning to new forms of governance in order to enhance the energy performance of buildings. An increasing number of these municipalities are choosing to utilize their role as a landowners to set energy requirements in land allocation agreements. Municipalities report positive experiences but the national government criticizes the practice, arguing that the diversity of design in these requirements constitutes a hinder for construction industry to develop standardized building concepts and thereby lower costs. At the sa me time, the construction industry claims to already apply considerably higher energy standards than those prescribed by the national regulation.

This study evaluates the outcome of the local requirements by studying all multi-dwellings built 2010-2011 in Malmo, one of the municipalities setting energy requirements through land allocation agreements. Calculated energy use, adoption of new technologies and choice of energy supply in the individual building are mapped; and buildings where the requirements apply are compared to those where they do not apply. The study also looks at costs associated with following different energy standards. This is done through structured interviews and document analysis. Methodological challenges addressed and discussed include the choice of appropriate baseline and the existence of parallel national and municipal as well as business initiatives in the field.

Nora Smedby, PhD
Candidate/Research Associate at the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics at Lund University
P.O. Box 196, 22100 Lund, Sweden
Email: Nora.Smedby@iiiee.lu.se
Phone: 0046 (0) 46 222 02 81

1 Land allocation agreements are agreements in which a building developer acquires the right to, during a certain time, solely negotiate with the municipality about development of a certain plot of land owned by the municipality, potentially followed by transfer of land from the municipality to the building developer.


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