Energy Efficiency

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 225–241 | Cite as

Energy efficiency in energy-intensive industries—an evaluation of the Swedish voluntary agreement PFE



In this paper, we evaluate the Swedish Programme for improving energy efficiency in energy-intensive industries (PFE). Since 2005, some 100 energy-intensive companies have entered this 5-year voluntary agreement (VA) and been exempted from the EU minimum tax on electricity. In return, each company is required to: conduct an energy audit and analysis; identify and invest in profitable electricity saving measures; implement and certify an energy management system; introduce routines for energy efficient procurement and project planning. For most participants the first programme period was completed in 2009 and available data enables this PFE ex-post evaluation. An impact evaluation compiles and analyse data that the companies have reported to the administrating agency, the Swedish Energy Agency (SEA). This assessment of quantifiable results is complemented by a process-oriented approach that combines studies of policy documents, previous evaluations and personal communication with administrators as well as companies. The bottom-up calculation method distinguishes between gross and net impact. While the SEA estimates a gross impact of 1,450 GW h/year, the net impact consists of an interval between 689 and 1,015 GW h of net annual electricity savings. PFE has effectively and, to a low cost, exceeded the estimated impact of a minimum tax and can thus be judged as successful. A comprehensive evaluation plan could facilitate relevant data gathering in PFE and similar VAs and could, in doing so, improve accuracy and possibly reduce evaluation cost. Such a plan should give weight also to the organisational changes, with potential long-lasting effects, that these programmes are capable of promoting.


Energy-intensive industry Voluntary agreement PFE Energy management system Policy evaluation Bottom-up method 



This work has been funded by the Swedish Energy Agency’s research programme General Energy Systems Studies (AES).


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental and Energy Systems Studies, Department of Technology and Society, Faculty of EngineeringLund UniversityLundSweden

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