Low-energy buildings in Sweden: What are the socio economic costs and benefits?

The European Union requires EU Member States to make sure all new buildings from 2021 are so-called nearly zero energy buildings. It is up to the individual EU Member States to set an appropriate “nearly zero” level on a cost-effective basis. Over the past years, a number of buildings have built to the so-called low-energy building-definition.

In this study, a sample of 16 of these buildings have been measured and assessed over a few years. Based on this sample, Copenhagen Economics has been asked to analyse whether there is evidence of higher energy requirements being cost effective, when also taking into account ‘multiple benefits.

To answer this question, we conducted a full socio economic cost-benefit analysis of the 16 buildings taking into account the socio economic benefits of lower energy bills, lower CO2 emissions and less local pollution. Further, we investigated whether the indoor air climate had been affected by the higher energy efficiency.

The study is commissioned by the Swedish Energy Agency.

Available for download are the full study in English as well as a supplementary note on energy requirements for buildings in Sweden in a broader policy perspective

Download supplementary note