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Barriers to Energy Efficiency in Swedish Non-Energy-Intensive Micro- and Small-Sized Enterprises-A Case Study of a Local Energy Program
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2017 (English)In: Energies, ISSN 1996-1073, E-ISSN 1996-1073, Vol. 10, no 1, article id 100Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Improved energy efficiency has become a strategic issue and represents a priority for European competitiveness. Countries adopt various energy policies on local and national levels where energy audit programs are the most common energy end-use efficiency policy for industrial small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). However, studies indicate that cost-efficient energy conservation measures are not always implemented, which can be explained by the existence of barriers to energy efficiency. This paper investigates how Swedish municipalities can support local micro-and small-sized enterprises with improved energy efficiency and the existence of different barriers to the implementation of energy efficiency. Relating this empirical case study to the theoretical barriers outlined in the text, this study found that the major explanatory factors related to non-implementation of cost-effective energy efficiency measures among micro-and small-sized industrial enterprises were bounded rationality (lack of time and/or other priorities), split incentives (having other priorities for capital investments), and imperfect information (slim organization and lack of technical skill). This study also found that information in the form of a report was the main thing that companies gained from working on the project "Energy-Driven Business". Notably, the study involved companies that had participated in a local energy program and, still, companies face major barriers inhibiting implementation, indicating a need to further study other alternative policy models and how knowledge transfer can be improved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI AG , 2017. Vol. 10, no 1, article id 100
Keywords [en]
barriers; energy efficiency; Swedish local enterprises; municipal
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-134489DOI: 10.3390/en10010100ISI: 000392422500100OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-134489DiVA, id: diva2:1074414
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish Energy Agency [37911-1]

Available from: 2017-02-15 Created: 2017-02-15 Last updated: 2018-05-14
In thesis
1. Energy efficiency in Swedish SMEs: Exploring barriers, knowledge creation and the role of municipal energy efficiency programs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Energy efficiency in Swedish SMEs: Exploring barriers, knowledge creation and the role of municipal energy efficiency programs
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Energieffektivitet i svenska små och medelstora företag : En undersökning av hinder, skapande av kunskap och kommunernas energieffektiviseringsprogram
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis is to analyze how municipalities support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in their work to improve their energy efficiency. The purpose of this study is to increase the current understanding of how the methods and tools used by municipalities to assist SMEs in improving their energy efficiency influence the end results in terms of achieved energy efficiency, and how knowledge related to energy efficiency is created within SMEs. This thesis consists of two separate case studies that examine how two municipalities used a network approach to support SMEs in implementing energy efficient measures.  

The theoretical frameworks of policy networks, barriers, communities of practice (COPs), and energy efficiency networks were used in this thesis. The findings are presented in the appended four articles. An overall conclusion is that networks that provide information in the form of a report with technological solutions as the only output are less likely to reach the agreed-upon goals. To achieve a more successful result, SMEs must be active in the process; they must be allowed to create knowledge and understanding that they perceive as valuable and relevant for themselves. Another important result is that information is not automatically transformed by SMEs into knowledge. In fact, SMEs need a platform from which they can negotiate the received information and use it to create knowledge through practice and social interaction. Finally, it was found that the type of technological solution is not insignificant; the type of energy efficient measure to be implemented and its level of complexity affect how a municipality should support energy efficiency work among SMEs. 

Abstract [sv]

För att policyprogram och riktlinjer ska kunna utformas så att de leder till uppfyllandet av miljömål behöver kommuner samverkar med bland annat det lokala näringslivet. En form av samverkan som har börjat användas av kommuner är nätverk där man för samman företag med olika experter som tillsammans med kommunala representanter arbetar med att införa energieffektiva lösningar i dessa företag.

Syftet med denna avhandling är att studera hur kommuner har stöttat små -och medelstora företag (SMF) i deras arbete med att införa energieffektiva lösningar i sina verksamheter. Detta undersöks med hjälp av fallstudier av hur två olika kommuner har arbetat med att ge stöd till lokala SMF. Dessa två fall beskriver två olika sätt som kommunerna har jobbat med detta. Fokus i avhandlingen har varit inte bara på hur kommunerna har valt att stödja SMF utan också på hur SMF skapar kunskap och tar till sig information. Dessutom undersöks vilka faktorer i form av så kallade barriärer som kan tänkas hindra SMF från att införa energieffektiva lösningar i sina verksamheter.

För analys av den insamlade empirin så har olika teorier använts såsom policynätverk, barriärer, Community of Practice (COP) och energieffektiviseringsnätverk. Resultaten beskrivs mer utförligt i de bifogade artiklarna. Resultaten pekar på att nätverk där bara information i form av en rapport delges SMF så är sannolikheten låg att målen kommer att uppfyllas. Detta beror på att SMF inte automatiskt omvandlar delgiven information till användbar kunskap. Istället behöver kommuner skapa en plattform där SMF får möjligheter att arbeta med den delgivna informationen på ett aktivt sätt i ett relevant sammanhang som de anser att de har nytta av. På så sätt kan värdefull kunskap genereras via praktiker och sociala sammanhang. Ett annat viktigt resultat är att typ av teknisk lösning och komplexitetsnivå inte är oviktiga utan dessa måste kommunerna ta hänsyn till när de skapar olika policyprogram som stöd till SMF för att kunna uppnå energieffektiviseringsmål.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2018. p. 92
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Sciences, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 742
Keywords
Policy programs, energy efficiency networks, Community of Practice (COPs), barriers, knowledge creation, Policyprogram, energieffektiviseringsnätverk, Community of Practice (COP), barriärer, skapande av kunskap
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-147760 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-147760 (DOI)9789176852897 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-06-08, TEMCAS, Hus T, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-05-14 Created: 2018-05-14 Last updated: 2018-05-18Bibliographically approved

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