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The municipality of Örebro in central Sweden was faced with a dilemma that many cities and businesses confront today. Its buildings were getting older and increasingly in need of repairs, while also requiring the need to meet European Union (EU) emissions targets. But rising energy costs were stealing the budget for maintenance and environmental projects.
City leaders recognized that they would get the most benefit by targeting a large portion of their buildings to cut energy use and costs, lower carbon emissions, and even move away from fossil fuels. The result was Sweden’s largest energy services project.
130 buildings reach new performance goals
At more than 700 years old, Örebro is Sweden’s seventh largest municipality with 140,000 inhabitants. Schneider Electric analyzed approximately 600 buildings with a total area of 420,000 m², including schools, sports facilities, public pools, nursing homes, cultural buildings, offices, and administrative buildings.
Ninety-seven properties with more than 130 buildings were chosen for the initial project with about 35% of funds invested in optimization and control systems. Some energy was switched from direct electricity and fossil fuels to district heating, heat pumps, and biofuels.
“From a national perspective, there are enormous energy and cost savings to be made by municipalities and other large property owners,” said Mats Brantsberg, the former Property Services Manager for Örebro Municipality. “Schneider Electric’s wide-ranging experience in property development, together with its guaranteed savings model, makes it easy for politicians and other decision makers within the property sector to adopt a comprehensive approach to a wide range of energy and environment issues.”
Savings jump to $2.2 million
Annual savings were projected at $1.8 million but with a 26 percent reduction in energy costs, the savings amounted to $2.2 million. Now, repairs and other important projects are financially possible. These results encouraged Örebro to proceed with 37 more properties covering 72,000 m². The initial implementation also brought a 36 percent reduction in annual carbon dioxide emissions (3,600 metric tons), as well as reductions in sulphur dioxide (25 percent) and nitrogen dioxide (24 percent).