In January 2010, Finnish Minister of Housing Jan Vapaavuori gathered a broad-based group of experts to map out the best ways to take us further in energy-smartness. The ERA17 for an Energy-Smart Built Environment 2017 action plan is the fruit of this collaboration.
An energy-smart built environment refers to an energy-efficient, low-emission, high quality built environment that employs all necessary means to mitigate climate change. There are many factors that contribute to energy-smartness: land use, construction and renovation, ownership and use of real estate, as well as utilisation of renewable energy.
The energy efficiency of our built environment is of crucial importance as we try to mitigate climate change. Buildings and construction account for about 40 per cent of all energy use and emissions, and the proportion is even higher if we include transport emissions.
The following pages present the main proposals of the ERA17 programme for improving the energy efficiency of the built environment. The actions proposed are not all similar in size or importance. Some of them affect on a short period of time, some take a longer perspective. Some of the action are already under way, some still call for additional development. However, all the actions proposed here have one thing in common: No single actor can tackle them alone. We need to activate citizens, companies, communities, as well as the state, in order to build an energy-smart life.
After the energy crisis 30 years ago, Finland was a pioneering country in energy efficiency. The action plan ERA17 for an Energy-Smart Built Environment 2017 encourages Finland to regain its position as the leader in energy-efficient built environments. The plan’s ambitious goal is to reach the efficiency requirements set for 2020 three years early, in 2017, in Finland’s centennial year. The ultimate goal of the plan is that in 2050, Finland will be able to offer the world’s best living and operating environment for people and businesses.