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Policy Instruments for Energy Efficiency in Buildings: Experiences and Lessons from the Nordic Countries

  • Bernadett Kiss
  • Kes McCormick
  • Lena Neij
  • Luis Mundaca
Publishing year: 2010
Language: English
Document type: Conference paper

Abstract english

The Nordic countries have often been seen as “fore-runners” of energy efficiency in buildings – in both the implementation of policy instruments and the evaluation of effects. Since the 1970s, the Nordic countries have introduced a range of policy instruments for energy conservation in buildings. The choice of instruments and experiences, however differs between countries. The aim of this study is to review policy instruments for energy efficiency in buildings in the Nordic countries as well as to analyse how to advance related learning processes. The study discusses traditional and innovative policy instruments, organisational matters, and policy evaluations.

An overall observation from this study is that Sweden is “slowing down” its energy efficiency activities in the building sector, while Denmark, Finland and Norway are all “speeding up”. Denmark is leading the way on implementing policy instruments, which are long-term, strategic, innovative and well-supported by the organisational structure. This study also concludes that energy efficiency often lacks influential organisations to “drive” efforts forwards – in terms of information, networking, research and innovation. Finally, there is often no strategic approach to evaluations in the Nordic countries with a focus on how to improve learning.


  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • learning
  • building
  • policy
  • evaluation


Counting on Energy Programs: It's Why Evaluation Matters
Paris, France
Kes McCormick
E-mail: kes [dot] mccormick [at] iiiee [dot] lu [dot] se

The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE)

Lund University P.O. Box 196, 22100 Lund, Sweden
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