Companies have found more energy savings than expected

The final results from the Swedish Energy Agency's five-year Programme for Improving Energy Efficiency in Energy Intensive Industries (PFE) show that 87 Swedish energy-intensive industrial companies have achieved energy rationalisations totalling 1.4 TWh.

This corresponds to an annual electricity consumption of approx. 80,000 electrically heated houses or, corresponspondingly, the City of Uppsala. The result is twice as good as the expectation of 0.6 TWh that Sweden had when the programme was commenced. The participating companies have achieved this electricity rationalisation in part through improved procedures for energy-efficient purchasing and project-planning. Collectively, the companies involved with the PFE programme undertook 1066 measures and invested a total of SEK 636 million.

"Many international stakeholders have maintained that there are very profitable energy rationalisations that are more important to address than building new power plants. The PFE companies have shown that this is not just a theoretical possibility, but rather something that it is possible to make a reality," says the Agency's Director General, Tomas Kåberger.

To this end, the companies have carried out 223 different types of energy-related measures, for example for rationalising heating, and increasing the share of renewable energy. During this period, the companies have also been able to increase their own electricity production by 0.77 TWh, which corresponds to an increase of approx. 15 percent, through different types of measures for, for example, freeing up steam in the process or rationalising turbines.

"We see now that a governmental authority can, in co-operation with industry, make large climate-related contributions while at the same time improving their profitability and competitiveness," continues Tomas Kåberger.

Reports from the companies also show that a number of the companies have begun working in a structured manner with energy issues in consequence of their participation in the PFE programme.

"If the motivation to participate in the programme was to receive a reduction in energy taxes for electricity, the motivation today is the profitability of rationalising a one's electricity consumption. One benefit that many companies are seeing is that by having participated in PFE, they have gained an argument for being able to prioritise energy rationalisation measures and that they have further structured the way in which they work," says Thomas Björkman, the person responsible for the PFE programme at the Swedish Energy Agency.

Because the companies implemented procedures for purchasing and project management during the programme, continued systematic work with energy has also been made possible even after the end of the programme. They have all implemented, maintained and further developed their energy management systems and followed up on key figures for their specific energy applications. The programme has also contributed to increasing the knowledge of energy efficiency possessed by company employees.

About the PFE programme and the final reports

The voluntary Programme for Improving Energy Efficiency in Energy Intensive Industries, PFE, began in 2004 and is intended to contribute to increasing energy efficiency is energy-intensive Swedish industrial companies. This also created a possibility for companies to receive a tax exemption on electricity being used in manufacturing processes (0.5 öre per kilowatt hour). The programme is an element in the work with creating an economically and ecologically sustainable energy system in Sweden, where industrial development is a central issue.

A total of 110 companies participated in the PFE programme. Of these, 98 of the companies participated in the programme right from the start. A total of 97 of the companies have, during this summer and autumn, submitted their final reports to the Swedish Energy Agency. The Agency has examined and evaluated them, and up to now has approved the reports of 87 companies. The 12 companies that have not reported yet began the programme at a later point in time and will be reporting their results at a later time.

The participating companies come from, among others, the pulp and paper industry, the iron and steel industry, the mining industry and the chemicals industry. Collectively, they consume a good 30 TWh of electricity per year (purchased and self-produced). This corresponds to a good fifth of total consumption in Sweden and a good half of industrial consumption. At the same time, the PFE companies also produce 6 TWh of electricity annually.

Because new state support rules are being introduced in the EU in 2013, Sweden has applied to the EU Commission to start a new programme period.

The Swedish Energy Agency has the role of supervisory authority for the programme. The Swedish Tax Agency handles the tax reductions.