The energy requirements of the Swedish National Board of Housing and Urban Development's building regulations (BBR) limit how much energy a house can use. In BBR, it is formulated as "Energy performance expressed as primary energy number (EP_pet) per kWh/m²/Atemp and year." This means that what should be reported in the property's energy declaration is Energy Performance, which is the house's energy use weighted with the National Board of Housing and Urban Development's own regulation rules for energy carriers (district heating, electricity, biofuel, etc.).
On average, Swedish apartment buildings have twice as high energy performance as BBR's new building requirements allow. The BBR requirements for energy performance in new construction of apartment buildings are 75 kWh/m² and the national average for Swedish properties is 149 kWh/m².
Boverket's rules set the national framework for Sweden's work to create a property portfolio consisting of near-zero energy buildings. In order to build a new apartment building, the property must therefore be built to be energy efficient – but another parameter to consider is the land allocation process, where the municipalities themselves decide the rules.
The rules for land allocation vary from municipality to municipality. Throughout, it can be said that the focus on sustainability and energy efficiency is a crucial part of which constructions receive the land allocation.
The requirements of BBR for energy consumption in apartment buildings are 75 kWh per m² per year, but many municipalities have significantly stricter requirements than BBR related to land allocation. For example, Stockholm municipality has a maximum of 55 kWh per m² per year in heating as a requirement.
One reason why so much of existing properties are so far from the 75 kWh limit is that the added energy is wasted. Lots of useful energy flows into the drain – instead of being utilized and reused.
Installing systems for the recovery of supplied energy improves the energy performance of the building, with lower primary energy counts. With the recovery of heat energy from waste water, apartment buildings can significantly reduce the total energy consumption. At national level, energy recovery could mean an energy saving worth SEK 60 billion per year.
Do you want to know how much your particular property could save? Try counting for yourself.