Founded in 2005, Stockholm's Energy Centrexlvi has provided expert support on the implementation of energy efficiency measures in municipal buildings, disseminating knowledge within the city, engaging with construction companies and checking progress against the 10% energy saving target set by the Stockholm Environment Programme 2012-2015.xlvii In 2015 the City Council decided on a new GHG emissions reduction target of 57% per capita, to be achieved by 2020 compared to 1990, and a new energy saving target of 10% over 2016-2019. These targets will be included in Stockholm Environment Programme 2016-2019. Stockholm’s long-term goal is to become a “fossil fuel free city” by 2040.


The Centre’s expert support on the implementation of energy efficiency measures includes testing innovative technologies (e.g. heat recovery from ventilation and sewage water, thermal insulation, LED-lighting, etc.), introduction of energy management systems, knowledge gathering and dissemination within the city, and R&D projects. The Centre also collects critical data, including the energy mapping of all city buildings. An illustrative example is the Energy Centre’s cooperation with the Real Estate Administration. The Energy Centre financed part of the first energy audits, assisted in securing extra financing for the Real Estate Administration from the city budget of an additional €20 million for employing in-house expertise and complete the project. Around 50% of the Real Estate Administration’s building stock was targeted, which led to annual energy savings of about 30% (8 GWhheat and 1.5 GWhelectricity) and annual financial savings of around €0.8 million in less energy costs. An important financial saving factor is less less future maintenance costs.

During the first three years of the current Environment Programme the city has reduced the energy consumption by 8% and the 10% target is considered achievable. Very much due to the expert support from the Energy Centre, but above all the ambition of all relevant bodies in the city to reach the target. The 8% reduction corresponds to an accumulated cost saving of about €20 million during the three years.

Reasons for success

Stockholm recognised the importance of inter-departmental cooperation and the potential for synergies to deliver cost savings. The Energy Centre allows the city to build municipal capacity and deliver energy efficiency projects amongst its agencies without replicating efforts and processes. Central coordination of energy efficiency projects within the municipality and the potential for replication of successful projects amongst the agencies also creates greater investor confidence and helps secure additional external funding.

When/why a city might apply an approach like this

Cities with long-term energy efficiency targets and/or a large potential for energy savings in the municipal portfolio should consider creating a specialist advisory unit to offer expert support across different municipal departments and agencies. This unit would build capacity, integrate regulations and standards and open up the opportunities to attract larger financing or develop ambitious energy savings performance contracts. 

C40 Good Practice Guides

C40's Good Practice Guides offer mayors and urban policymakers roadmaps for tackling climate change, reducing climate risk and encouraging sustainable urban development. With 100 case studies taken from cities of every size, geography and stage of development around the world, the Good Practice Guides provide tangible examples of climate solutions that other cities can learn from. 

The Municipal Building Efficiency Good Practice Guide is available for download here.  The full collection of C40 Good Practice Guides is available for download here.  

All references can be found in the full guide.

  • Economic
  • Environmental
Key Impact
Expert support on the implementation of energy efficiency measures
Financial Savings
€20 million over three years
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