Efficient improvement of energy efficiency in small and medium- sized Swedish firms
Abstract: This is a dissertation about efficient implementation of energy efficiency measures in small and medium-sized Swedish firms. The aim is to investigate the potential for economically efficient implementation of energy efficiency improvement measures in small and medium-sized firms. The thesis contains five papers that analyse different aspects that have been put forth in policy documents and academic debate as methods to improve energy efficiency in non-energy intensive sectors.By reading policy documents, interviewing representatives of small and medium- sized firms and energy auditors as well as analysing data from the Swedish energy audit program, different aspects of energy management practices, energy services and energy audits are considered. The thesis is the product of an interdisciplinary context but economic theory is at the foundation of the analysis and has helped formulate questions and hypotheses that have been tested and explored with the data.The results show that while the potential for improving energy efficiency in the small and medium- sized sector in Sweden is large there are challenges to realizing it in each individual firm. There is potential for improving energy efficiency in the sector and not just for investments in new technology but also for adjusting existing machinery and changing behaviour, but costs for investigating the potential and implementing the measures are large relative to the improvement potential in each company. Energy management practices in this sector are lacking and energy services will only be demanded if reduction in production cost is estimated larger than transaction costs of the service. The Swedish energy audit program has led to the implementation of energy efficiency improvements in the participating firms but compared to other policy instruments it has been a less cost-efficient way to improve energy efficiency in Sweden.
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