Good Practice > Financing instruments > Västerås City’s low-energy building concept

Västerås City’s low-energy building concept

Region: City of Västerås, Southern Sweden
Implemented on: Local level
Target group: Building owners


The City of Västerås has developed a model for the sale of municipal land in which the purchasers of the building lot sign an agreement that binds them to construct a low-energy building on the site. Within two years at the latest, the property owner must provide documented results. A comprehensive information and advice package is part of the model, incl. information e.g. via a popular TV programme. The concept includes also both a definition what is to be considered as low-energy building as well as a model for energy balance-sheet calculations, monitoring and evaluation. By that, the City of Västerås is able to control all new construction projects carried out on municipally owned land.


  • Contributing to regional, national and EU energy and climate targets;
  • Contributing to the local energy plan.


No additional costs for the City of Västerås, as it is about making strategic use of its building land by selling lots for construction with specific energy requirements.


  • Energy assessments and airtightness tests in about 30 buildings showed, that buildings were well-constructed from an energy-efficiency point of view and results exceeded expectations;
  • In autumn 2012, more than 900 dwellings have been either commenced or completed in low-energy buildings.

Lessons learnt:

  • The model is working in reality, and excellent relationships were established between the land purchaser and the supplier of the building;
  • The model lead also to increased use of district heating, e.g. for washing machines, driers and dishwashers, and thereby reducing electricity consumption. A new type of district heating system has been developed, known as low-temperature district heating, entailing reduced system losses.


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