In 2016, The Mälardalen Energy Agency started the project “Networks for energy efficiency”. “Now we run five regional networks with a total of 40 small and medium sized companies, divided into groups of grocery stores, industrial companies, and parishes. To join this project, the companies had to have a yearly energy consumption of no less than 1 Gigawatt hours, and our aim is to strengthen their ability to reduce their energy consumption”, says Jesper Sundling, who shares the role of project leader with colleague August Lindholm.
Lacking information, time or resources are the three most common obstacles standing in the way of energy efficiency in Swedish companies. Therefore, The Mälardalen Energy Agency has supplied the five networks access to expert advice, knowledge exchange and updates on the latest research results, relevant legislation, and financial support. As a result, the companies participating in the project have reduced their environmental impact, minimised costs, and strengthened their resilience as well as their brands.
The participating companies were expected to reduce their energy consumption by 15 %, and their electric energy consumption, carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption, each by 10 %. Several companies have overshot these goals. During the past year alone the grocery store ICA MAXI Eskilstuna reduced its electric energy consumption by 27 %. ICA Kvantum Oxelösund reduced its electric energy consumption by 27 % as well and ICA MAXI Nyköping by 25 %.
These grocery stores have switched to LED-lighting; installed more energy efficient refrigerators and ventilation systems; and started using waste heat, to name only a few actions. Some changes are still being made, which means that their energy consumption will decrease further, according to project leader August Lindholm. The Networks for energy efficiency project will end in February 2021.
“The success of these energy efficiency networks shows that it is possible to make a noticeable change in environmental impact by implementing technology and sustainable solutions already available to us”, says Lina Yng, CEO of The Mälardalen Energy Agency.