Replacing Fossil Fuels in Ludvika (SE)



Starting point and idea

In 2002 the regional energy agency, Gävle Dala Energy Agency, made a survey of “all” oil using heating plants with a power over 60 kW. It showed that Ludvika Municipality was one of the most oil dependent, with many plants and high consumption. A seminar on the potential for biofuels and a study tour showing biofuel plants in the region was organized for selected actors from the municipality. The idea behind the study tour was that meeting and discussion with people in the same position and hearing of practical experience of biofuels would be inspire activities in Ludvika. At the follow up meeting it was also decided to study the feasibility for converting some municipal plants to biofuels. Through a project partly financed by the European Union’s Structural Funds the Gävle Dala Energy Agency had the possibility to assist in the initial meetings and to undertake the first feasibility studies.

Success through cooperation

The campaign to activate the municipality, the energy company and the municipal housing company was co by the energy agency, in cooperation with the municipal energy advisors. Consultants, biomass suppliers, ordinated manufacturers and biomass users also participated initially. Necessary financial support was supplied by regional funds and participating enterprises. In the second phase, to implement a program to replace fossil fuels in the municipality of Ludvika, politicians and technical staff were the key actors, supported by the energy advisors and the energy agency. The base for this was a political decision at high level to work towards the replacement of fossil fuels in municipal buildings.

How did/does it work?

From a small scale start with conversion to pellets in a few plants, energy awareness has become part of the daily work in both the political and the executive organisation. Conversion from heating oil to biomass or district heating based on biomass, is continuously ongoing but depending on available capital for investments and the economic conditions in each individual case. The initial goal to replace fossil fuels has been extended into energy savings and climate protection. The municipality of Ludvika has now entered an “Energy performance contract” for 10 years with YIT, a private company. The contract includes e.g. guaranteed energy savings, investments and education of the municipality’s operating personnel.


The most visible result of the campaign is the installation of several pellet boilers and the fact that the use of heating oil in municipality buildings has been reduced from 1,700 to 400 m3 per year. More important, by energy from biomass and environmental questions have become a natural part of the political process as well as of all work, from planning to maintenance within the whole administration. Within a few years the municipality of Ludvika has taken a big step forward towards a more sustainable energy system.


There is nothing unique about the Ludvika example but some circumstances that explain the success. It was a strong campaign with several organisations/ enterprises involved and enough funding to allow initial consultations and support. The municipality was open minded and interested alongside economic viability and right timing.


Gävle Dala Energy Agency
Ruddammsgatan 30
Box 834
S-801 30 Gävle
+46 (0)26 4040200



  • Change from one the most oil dependent municipality
  • High political will to start using renewables instead of fossils
  • Use of oil has been reduced by more than 75 %

Success Story provided by REGBIE+ partner