Transition towards zero energy buildings: Insights on emerging business ecosystems, new business models and energy efficiency policy in Finland

Paula Kivimaa, Paula Kangas, David Lazarevic, Jani Lukkarinen, Maria Åkerman, Minna Halonen, Mika Nieminen

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    Due to climate change, there is a need to phase out fossil-fuel based energy use for heating, cooling and lighting buildings. Thus, a transition to nearly zero energy buildings is necessary. This requires socio-technical change in both building and energy systems - implying significant changes not only in technology but also in policies, institutions, markets, practices and culture surrounding the technology. Buildings offer many opportunities for decarbonisation, while the optimal energy performance improvement and the potential for reduction differs case and region specifically. This publication summarises research in an Academy of Finland funded project, Change in Business Ecosystems for Local Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency - Better Energy Services for Consumers (USE), conducted during 2015-2018. It addresses the challenge of further improving the energy efficiency of the Finnish building stock by focusing specifically on energy service companies offering integrated services for buildings, on the emerging business ecosystems and regional innovation ecosystems for energy services, and on the building energy efficiency policy mix from the perspective of transition. The report shows that, in Finland, the transition towards nearly zero energy buildings has started, but the building sector is still far from being nearly zero energy. Energy service companies have the potential to reconfigure the existing energy and building systems and drive the transition. Energy and building sectors are supply-centric, so changing the mind-sets of energy and construction industry actors towards service provision and consumption is vital. At societal level, disinterest in energy efficiency is slowing down transition. Ecosystems of actors providing integrated building energy services are emerging around specific business models and in various regions. At the regional level, a city can orchestrate a process to create an innovation ecosystem by gathering the relevant actors and creating a common vision towards a nearly zero energy building system. Many supportive policies are in place, and policy development has been largely consistent and coherent in the intermediate term. However, more attention needs to be paid to the comprehensiveness of the policy mix to reach the goal of nearly zero energy, and especially to implementation to make sure it is coherent with the policy goals.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherFinnish Environment Institute SYKE
    Number of pages53
    ISBN (Electronic)978-952-11-4978-8
    ISBN (Print)978-952-11-4977-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

    Publication series

    SeriesSYKE Publications


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