Negotiated agreement to promote energy audits and investments in municipalities
The first voluntary energy conservation agreements were signed in Finland in the early 1990s, but the activity really took off in 1997, when the national Energy Conservation Programme was updated. This is when the principal industry associations of the economy decided to join in. The energy conservation agreements are framework agreements, under which sector associations undertake to promote energy conservation and encourage their members to join in the energy conservation agreement scheme. Companies and communities subscribing to the agreements undertake to carry out energy audits or analyses in their own properties and production plants, to draw up an energy conservation plan, and to implement cost-effective conservation measures. The agreements contain action programmes agreed between ministries and sector associations, aiming at improving energy efficiency in the sectors covered by the agreements.
The majority of the voluntary energy conservation agreements signed mainly in 1997 were due to expire at the end of 2005. Based on evaluation of the agreement scheme and feedback received from the field, it was decided that the agreements would be extended by two years. The new agreement scheme (2008) for the municipal sector has two alternative agreement models.