Final energy consumption in Sweden was  33.5 Mtoe in 2015. This is a decrease by  4.3 per cent from just above 35 Mtoe in 2000. With the exception of transport and agriculture, all sectors registered a decrease in final energy consumption.  Consequently, the transport sector increased in relative terms, too, from 21.5 to 24.6 per cent or by 0.7 Mtoe in absolute terms. Industry decreased slightly, in relative terms, from 37.7 per cent to 36.7 per cent of total or by 0.9 Mtoe. The share of the residential sector decreased from 25.5 per cent to just below 23 per cent or by 1.2 Mtoe. The share of services remained more or less the same, 14 per cent. The share of agriculture in Swedish final energy consumption is small.

Figure 1: Final energy consumption by sector (normal climate)


Energy efficiency improved 24 per cent between 2000 and 2015 as measured by ODEX. The largest improvement, almost 40 per cent, took place in residential followed by an 37 per cent improvement in the services sector. Progress in transport and industry was more modest, 12 per cent and almost 17 per cent, respectively. It is worth noticing that only developments in the transport sector actually follow the overall trend. In industry, energy efficiency improvements, as measured by ODEX, were significant before 2006 ( i.e. before the onset of the crisis) but since then no progress can be observed. Meanwhile, progress in the residential sector and services has been rather rapid and persistent. 

Figure 2: Technical Energy Efficiency Index


The foundation for Swedish energy efficiency policy is the tax on energy and carbon dioxide emissions. However, the effects stem not only from the tax itself, but also from the concurrent effects of the tax and other policy instruments. The tax creates a general incentive for action for reduced energy use, but because of its broad approach, further instruments are needed to target specific groups of users.

Sweden has a national energy efficiency target for a reduction of the ratio between primary energy consumption and GDP by 20 per cent between 2008 and 2020. By 2015 a reduction of 18 per cent was registered. However, because primary energy consumption and GDP do not correlate in a 1:1 relation, there always exists a risk that the gains in one or several years in a row may be reversed in subsequent years.  Thus, it is too early to say Sweden will reach its target, but the results so far are promising.

Table 1: Sample of cross-cutting measures

MeasuresNEEAP measuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Tax on energy and carbon dioxideyesA tax on energy was introduced in the 1950s. In 1992 a tax on emissisons of carbon dioxide was introduced and soon these two taxes were de facto lumped togehter for practical purposes. Recently, efforts have been made to reduce the number of exceptions and to streamline taxation. High to very high.
Source: MURE


Energy consumption for space heating was 215.7 koe per square metre in 2000 (against 212.2 koe/m2 in 2015). The overall trend in this period has been slowly downward. Energy consmuption in buildings is targeted through building codes, which include regulations for maximum energy consumption per square meter in new buildings.

Energy consumption related to electrical appliances decreased by 2.8 per cent between 2000 and 2015 despite evidence of increased proliferation of such appliances in households. This development can probably be attributed to increased efficiency of appliances. Meanwhile, energy use for water heating was down by more than 15 per cent in the same period, while energy use for cooking was up more than 26 per cent.

Figure 3: Energy consumption of space heating per m2 (normal climate)


Figure 4: Energy consumption by end-use per dwelling


The main specified drivers for increased energy consumption in the household sector, i.e. climate, more dwellings and larger homes, are offset by energy savings by a wide margin, 2.1 Mtoe versus 4.3 Mtoe.Therefore, overall decline in energy consumption reached 0.58 Mtoe between 2000 and 2015, which is 7.46 per cent.

Figure 5: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in households


Overall energy consumption per employee and electricity consumption per employee showed a similar downward trend between 2000 and 2015. It is likely that there is an element of coincidence in this development, because workplaces in Sweden have seen a significant increase in information technology devices in this period, which has been a driver for increased use of electricity.

Figure 6: Energy and electricity consumption per employee (normal climate)


Tax on energy and carbon dioxide are fully applied to the building sector. The main effect registered is a switch from carbon content to renewable energy for heating, but also more efficient use of energy. Moreover, technology procurement groups have probably had an important role to play in making new energy efficient technology available at lower cost. A crucial component in the Swedish policy instrument mix in this sector are building regulations which have been in place for decades and clearly indicate a trend towards more energy effieicnt standards. Moreover, since the 1980's the Swedish Energy Agency has been promoting technology procurement groups, which bring together major actors in a particular subsector (such as landlords of commercial spaces) in order to coordinate procurement of new technology for energy efficiency. This puts a downward pressure on prices while at the same time creating sales volume for new technology.

Table 2: Sample of policies and measures implemented in the building sector

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Tax on energy and carbon dioxide All use of energy is taxed according to energy content and emissions of carbon dioxide.High to very high
Technology procurement groupsCoordinated procurement of new technology for energy efficiency in e g Buildings puts a downward pressure on prices.Medium
Building codes and regulationsRegulations encompassing energy consumption in new or renovated buildings have been in for a few decades and produced significant results.Very high
Source: MURE


Some relative shifts in the modes for transport energy consumption can be observed for the period 2000 - 2015. The share of cars has gone down by 4 percentage ponts, while that of trucks and light vehicles has gone up by 4.8 percentage points. The share of air transport has remained more or less the same, while a minor increase can be observed for the share of bus transportation. The share of water transportation is down by half, while motorcycles showed an increase of 25 per cent. However, these last two modes of transport are small in comparison to other modes.

Figure 7: Split of the transport energy consumption by mode


The share of cars in passenger transportation decreased from 84.2 to 81.7 per cent of total between 2000 and 2015. At the same time the share of rail in passenger transport increased from 8.3 to 11.1 per cent. There are several reasons for this relative change, but the most important ones are most likely increased commuting in big city regions, visible campaigns for rail transport, and improved availability of rail transport. The share of bus transport decreased marginally.

Figure 8: Share of transport in passenger traffic


In freight traffic no significant relative changes took place between 2000 and 2015. A slight increase in road transportation can be observed and a corresponding decrase in water transportation while rail transportation remained stable.

Figure 9: Share of modes in freight traffic


Energy consumption in transportation witnessed a significant increase between 2000 and 2015, namely 10.9 per cent or 0.72 Mtoe. Although energy savings accounted for 1.05 Mtoe, this was shadowed by increased acitivty, 0.86 Mtoe, and other drivers, 0.99 Mtoe. Modal shift played only a minor role in this developent, reducing energy consumtion by 0.08 Mtoe.

Figure 10: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in transport


Tax on energy and carbon dioxide play a key role for energy efficiency in the transport sector. The effects of tax are amplified by a number of measures promoting the more energy efficienct vehicles through tax incentives or subsidies. Another set of key policy instruments relate especially to urban transportation planning. Swedish policy in this sector has mainly targeted emissions of carbon dioxide and only to a lesser degree energy efficiency, which basically follows all-EU developments.

Table 3: Policies and measures into force in the transport sector

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Cooperation between public sector and businessComprehensive cooperation programmes in various transport subsectors.Low
Source: MURE


Total final energy consumption in industry decreased from 13.1 Mtoe in 2000 to 12.3 Mtoe in 2015, or by 6.3 per cent. More than 50 per cent of final energy consumption in Swedish industry is paper and pulp, which reduced its energy consumption by 0.3 Mtoe. However, to a large extent this industry sector generates electricity and heat needed from residuals in its production process. Steel, traditionally a major Swedish industry sector, saw a significant decrease in final energy consumption, from 2.13 Mtoe to 1.53 Mtoe, or 28 per cent. The reasons for this are manifold, but new production processes are certainly one. Chemical industry increased its energy use significantly by 28 per cent.

Figure 11: Final energy consumption by branch


Unit consumption of energy in paper industry has remained more or less the same in the period 2000 - 2015, while that of both steel and cement has gone down significantly. One underlying reason for this is improved production processes.

Figure 12: Unit consumption of energyÔÇÉintensive products (toe/t)


Energy savings were the most significant driver for lowering final energy consumption in industry between 2000 and 2015. A reduction of 2.6 Mtoe can be attributed directly to energy savings, while changes in activity and structure were minor in comparison. Othe drivers, however, pushed energy consumption upwards by 2.1 Mtoe, leaving total decrease in final energy use at 0.8 Mtoe.

Figure 13: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in industry


Under the auspices of the Swedish Energy Agency, networks for industry for cooperation in energy efficiency have been created. These networks have led to sharing of experiences and thus to improved energy efficiency. Moreover, following from EU legislation, energy mapping takes place in large companies while smaller companioes are encouraged to map their energy use through a voucher system.

Table 4: Policies and measures into force in industry

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Energy efficiency networks for industry The Swedish Energy Agency currently finances four industry networks for energy effciency. The purpose is to share experiences. High
Energy mapping vouchersVouchers for energy mapping are available for SMEs Low
Energy mapping in large enterprisesAll large companies have to carry out energy mapping according to EU law. Low
Source: MURE