Multiple benefits of energy renovations of the Swedish building stock
The Swedish government is currently in the process of designing a new building strategy, including a program for renovating the existing building stock. Building renovations reduce the energy consumption of buildings and improve the overall quality of living environment. In addition, it has been established that there are so called ‘multiple benefits’ that accrue in addition to the direct savings in energy bills and may entail health effects from better outdoor air quality and indoor environment.
In order to shed light on these multiple benefits in a Swedish context, the Swedish Energy Agency and the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning commissioned Copenhagen Economics to assess and quantify to what extent there are likely multiple benefits from energy related renovations of the Swedish building stock.
The main conclusions of the study are:
- We find that the value of energy savings is the largest source of benefits from renovations of the Swedish building stock.
- Regarding benefits additional to energy savings we find that, in particular, reduced outdoor air pollution can deliver significant benefits. Attributing the value of outdoor air pollution can be difficult, as air pollution is windborne, and may not necessarily give rise to damages in the same area as the polluting source.
- Improved indoor air quality is a large potential source of value for Swedish society. Prevalence of asthma and respiratory diseases, and especially so called sick building syndrome are common undesired consequences of poor indoor air quality. In addition, improved indoor air in schools is likely to improve students’ learning abilities. Taking advantage of these benefits requires that renovations have a broader focus than just on energy savings, and especially on delivering better ventilation and lighting.
The study is commissioned by the Swedish Energy Agency and the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning. Download