Large interest in state support for energy efficiency in municipalities and county councils

A total of 261 municipalities and 19 county councils have between 1 January and 30 June of this year submitted applications for state support to the Swedish Energy Agency for working actively with energy efficiency in their own enterprises.

The efforts are a part of a five-year energy efficiency programme for the period 2010-2014 and have their basis in the EU's Energy Services Directive, which says that the public sector must act as forerunners when it concerns energy efficiency. In total, the government has set allocated SEK 99 million per year for purposes of strengthening local and regional energy and climate work in the country. The financial support can be sought during the entire 5-year period.

"It is incredibly wonderful that the interest in support is so large among the municipalities and county councils". We has been hoping that there would be many applications, but this exceeds our expectations by a wide margin," says Maria Steinbach Lindgren, Unit Manager at the Swedish Energy Agency.

The municipalities and county councils that are receiving energy efficiency support from the Swedish Energy Agency are committing to establishing a strategy for energy efficiency and to work actively in order to carry this out.

"The strategy must encompass an analysis of the present situation as well as goals and an action plan. The support money can then be used for measures within the area, for example purchasing of energy efficient products, energy-smart property administration or energy efficient municipal transport vehicles. The money may not be used for investments, but rather only for strategic work," says Maria Steinbach Lindgren.

The effects of the energy efficiency work must be reported each year to the Swedish Energy Agency. In addition to disbursing financial support to municipalities and county councils, the Swedish Energy Agency will also work together with the county administrative boards in giving advice and support to the municipalities and county councils in their work with energy efficiency.