Energy Efficiency Agreements are an important part of Finland’s energy and climate strategy and a primary tool to improve the efficient use of energy in Finland. A responsible and efficient use of energy reduces the carbon dioxide emissions causing climate change.
Finland is committed to strict targets to improve energy efficiency. Energy Efficiency Agreements, chosen in cooperation by the Government and industrial/municipal associations, are a tool to fulfil the EU energy efficiency obligations set for Finland without resorting to legislation or other coercive measures.
The aim of these agreements is to improve the efficient use of energy within industry, the energy sector, service sector, property and building sector, municipalities, and oil-heated real estates.
For several years, companies and municipalities have taken voluntary measures to improve their use of energy. Since the 1990s, Energy Efficiency Agreements have been the primary tool in Finland for improving energy efficiency and meeting the strict EU obligations on improved efficiency in energy use.
Background of the Energy Efficiency Agreements
A more responsible future
An efficient use of energy is a responsible way of action and one of the key actions to stop climate change. It is a globally recognized and necessary instrument and “the first fuel” to meet the targets set for reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
Effective and rational energy use generates savings in costs and adds to profitability.
Towards an Energy Wise Finland
Voluntary Energy Efficiency Agreements are a key instrument for Finland to achieve the targets set by the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED). Energy Efficiency Agreements cover more than half of the binding national energy saving target set by the EED Article 7 for the implementation period 2014–2020. The agreement scheme also supports the implementation of the obligations set in other articles of the directive and, as appropriate, also the implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).
The saved amounts of energy achieved through the agreement scheme help Finland in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They also alleviate the national targets on increasing the use of renewable energy. An efficient use of energy also improves Finland’s security of supply and self-sufficiency on energy. At the same time, it creates green growth and opens markets for clean technology solutions.
Voluntary means work well
Energy savings and energy efficiency have been improved through agreements drawn between the Government and industrial/municipal associations since the 1990s. Finland is one of the few European countries where voluntary agreements on energy efficiency are shown to work and yield profits.
Thanks to the good results, Finland will continue to apply the voluntary approach during the 2017–2025 period. However, the precondition for this is that the agreement scheme will continue to be comprehensive and meet the targets set for improved energy efficiency. In practice, this requires that from the very beginning of 2017, a substantial number of companies and municipalities will join the agreements and that they will actively implement their energy efficiency measures.
Towards continuous improvement
The agreements are planned to guide companies and municipalities towards continuous improvement in energy efficiency. The participants set a quantitative energy efficiency improvement target for themselves and they implement actions, in order to achieve their targets.
Government subsidies available for the participants
The Government grants energy subsidies to support the implementation of new energy-efficient technology and, case-dependently, the conventional energy efficiency investments and energy audits of the participant companies and municipalities. However, the energy audits of large companies is not subsidized.
Annual reporting of measures and savings crucial
The agreement participants report annually on their energy efficiency improvement measures and other actions aiming at improving energy efficiency to the online monitoring system.
Based on the participant reporting, Finland provides annual reports to the EU on the realised energy savings. Every implemented and reported measure of energy efficiency improvement is important.
Energy Efficiency Agreement for Industries
The Energy Efficiency Agreement for Industries is an agreement between the Government and industrial associations on the efficient use of energy. The parties committed to this agreement are the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the Energy Authority and the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK and the following of its member associations: the Finnish Food and Drink Industries’ Federation, the Chemical Industry Federation of Finland, Finnish Forest Industries, The Federation of Finnish Technology Industries, Finnish Commerce Federation, The Finnish Hospitality Association (MaRa), and Finnish Central Organisation for Motor Trades and Repairs.
Companies join the Energy Efficiency Agreement for Industries by signing a separate Accession Document (available mainly in Finnish) into the Action Plan of their own industrial branch and by committing themselves to improving their energy efficiency, in accordance with the actions and targets presented in the Action Plan.
Action Plans have been created for the following industrial branches:
- Energy Intensive Industry
- Food and Drink Industry
- Chemical Industry
- Technology Industry
- Wood Product Industry
- Energy Production
- Energy Services
- Motor Trades and Repairs
- Commerce Sector
- Hotel and Restaurant Sector
Additionally, if there is no branch-specific Action Plan available, the company can join either the Action Plan for Industry – General or Services – General.
Energy Efficiency Agreement for Municipal Sector
The Energy Efficiency Agreement for Municipal Sector is an agreement between the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the Energy Authority and the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities on improving the efficient use of energy in the municipal sector.
Municipalities, cities and joint municipalities sign their own Energy Efficiency Agreement, in which they commit themselves to the actions and targets specified in the Energy Efficiency Agreement for Municipal Sector. In accordance with the agreement, the participant’s rental housing properties are joined primarily into the Rental Housing Property Action Plan under the Energy Efficiency Agreement for the Property Sector.
Energy Efficiency Agreement for Property Sector
In the property sector, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the Ministry of the Environment, the Energy Authority, and RAKLI – the Finnish Association of Building Owners and Construction Clients have made an agreement on improving energy efficiency regarding rental and commercial properties. The Energy Efficiency Agreement for Property Sector is open mainly for the members of RAKLI, but the municipalities under the Energy Efficiency Agreement for Municipal Sector join their rental housing properties primarily into the Rental Housing Property Action Plan under Property Sector.
Companies join the Energy Efficiency Agreement for Property Sector by signing a separate Accession Document into the Action Plan of Rental Housing or Commercial Properties and by committing themselves to improving their energy efficiency, in accordance with the actions and targets presented in their specific Action Plan.
Action Plans are available for Rental Housing Properties and Commercial Properties.
The HÖYLÄ IV Energy Efficiency Agreement covers the distribution of liquid heating oils, i.e. oil-heated real estates. The parties in this agreement are the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the Ministry of the Environment, the Finnish Petroleum and Biofuels Association and the major distributors of liquid heating fuels. Additionally, Oil Industry Service Centre Ltd. and the Finnish Association of Heating Energy are also committed to the implementation of this agreement.
The Agreements and Action Plans
The Agreements will be valid from 1 January 2017 until 31 December 2025.
Familiarize yourself with the Energy Efficiency Agreements and the Action Plans.
Industries – Action Plans and Accession Documents
Examples of Branch-Specific Accession Documents