The real estate industry has a crucial role to play in the transition required to address the climate crisis and create long-term sustainable energy systems. During the energy crisis of the past winter, it became clear that much can be achieved through collaboration between companies and tenants, but there is more to offer.
The energy situation in the coming years seems to be strained, and many remember the exceptional winter we experienced. Simultaneous factors such as war, increased global demand for energy, and inadequate infrastructure resulted in soaring electricity prices.
However, we also witnessed an exceptional behavioral change. According to statistics from Svenska Kraftnät, electricity consumption decreased by around six percent per month compared to 2021 for climate-adjusted data. All parts of society contributed, especially players in the real estate industry who, through initiatives such as #HusFörHus, came together to focus on energy efficiency. Through information campaigns and dialogues with tenants, significant amounts of energy were saved through measures such as heating control, optimized operating times, and investments in properties. Behavioral changes, such as turning off excess lighting and electronics, also yielded results.
There is much to learn from these experiences. Energy efficiency and flexibility in energy use are the quickest and easiest tools to reduce fossil dependence, lower electricity prices, and strengthen Sweden’s competitiveness in the long run. By modernizing properties, engaging in close dialogue with tenants, and increasing the production of renewable energy through solar installations, the real estate industry can contribute to fewer uncertain energy winters and more sustainable energy systems.
To further accelerate the work, there is a need of support and clear guidance from the politics. We urge bold steps forward to facilitate continued energy efficiency in the real estate sector. It is high time to design and implement politics that support and accelerate development. Below are three areas that we believe should be prioritized in political decisions:
- Create incentives for energy transition Consider easing tax restrictions for the production of self-generated energy and provide targeted financing opportunities for property owners and companies implementing energy efficiency projects. Differentiated property taxes based on energy performance would provide strong incentives for property owners to invest in efficiency measures.
- Improve conditions for societal benefit and relieved energy systems Simplify and expedite opportunities for real estate companies to become more active participants in the energy system, where increased self-production of renewable energy, dynamic control, and flexibility in property management are crucial components. This includes opportunities for business models that make it easier for real estate companies to be energy producers, mandatory regulations for pricing of community-shared energy supply (such as district heating), and more grid investments to accommodate the production facilities the real estate industry is willing to contribute. By increasing focus on collaboration with energy companies and energy systems, properties can become a vital part of future energy systems.
- Educate and inform By raising awareness about the benefits of energy efficiency in society at large, property owners and tenants can collectively make well-informed decisions about the right measures to take. The government can also promote collaboration between research institutes and businesses to foster the development of new technologies and methods.
The companies endorsing this article collectively manage and own an area equivalent to over 58 million square meters. We want to take responsibility and be part of accelerating the transition in Sweden, therefore, we demand decisive policies that promote this necessary development.
Christin Hertzberg, Sustainability Manager Annehem
Helena Hagberg, Head of Sustainability, and Josefine Andreasson, Sustainability Manager Areim
Maria Perzon, Group Sustainability Manager Castellum
Amanda Thynell, Sustainability Manager Catena
Kristian Karlsson, Technical Manager Corem
Julie Villet, Head of ESG and Innovation Mileway
Anders Kallebo, CEO Myrspoven
Christoffer Börjesson, Managing Director Digital Accelerator Newsec Group
Emma Aaben, Sustainability Manager Platzer
Anna Brännström, Sustainability Manager Revelop
Viktoria Wöhl, Sustainability Manager SLP
Annachiara Torciano, Head of Sustainability and Communication Slättö
Jenny Wahl, Operations and Technical Manager Wihlborgs
Here you can read the published article in Fastighetsnytt (in Swedish).