EMBASSY SWEDEN: Green Retrofits


As the founder of the League of Green Embassies, over the past three years, Embassy Stockholm has saved 34% on electricity and heating energy in Embassy buildings. This is the equivalent to 1,715,000Kwh (based on 5,000,000Kwh) total consumption year on year. In addition, newly-installed Honeywell technology is designed to monitor and help yield an additional annual savings of 3% a year on electricity.  Finally, Embassy Stockholm converted from fossil fuel to district heating, and has saved 1240 tons of C02e. This aggressive program has already met Embassy Stockholm’s share of the Administration’s goal of 20% reduction of C02e before 2020.  


In March of 2011, the Chief of Mission residence was converted to geo-thermal for both space and hot-water heating. This followed a successful conversion of two residences to geo-thermal heating. While the new systems have not been tested during the up-coming winter, Embassy Sweden has already experienced substantial savings: FY2010 to FY 2011 period-to-period comparison reveals a 57% savings in natural gas usage.

Honeywell Metering

In a partnership with Honeywell SBS Sweden, the Embassy has installed an 11 METER HUB for capturing electrical, heating, and water usage in real time, the first Embassy to use this technology.  At the heart of the technology is Honeywell’s state-of-the-art Energy Manager Module.   This software program captures input from all meters in real-time, producing a comprehensive report as output.  The tool will enable Embassy management to make informed decisions regarding where best to apply energy savings measures.  The installation of the metering system will for the first time enable Embassy Stockholm to monitor its energy usage.  Capturing this data will facilitate the implementation of energy savings measures whose economic payback will be quantified and justified.  Embassy Stockholm is the first Embassy to use this technology.

BetaLED lighting

Embassy Sweden installed Beta LED LEDway Road 40LED street lights with road optic and 3500K color temperature on Gärdesgatan. The lights use 47W annual energy consumption per fixture, 205kWh product life cycle, and last about 20 years. BetaLED lights do not contain mercury, while traditional high pressure sodium or mercury light source has a 70W HPS lamp with 84W annual energy consumption per fixture and a 367kWh product life cycle (lamp), which needs to be replaced every 4 years.  The new BetaLED energy savings are between 40%-65% and the maintenance interval is a long period of 20-25 years. The BetaLED product can be serviced and upgraded so the real lifetime of the product can be even longer. In addition, the product is built partly from recycled material.

GE/Skanska technologies

The Embassy’s Building Management and Commerce offices pulled together a GE/Skanska partnership for energy controls, technologies and cost savings. The partnership allowed the Embassy to showcase new GE technology for improving energy efficiency installing GE’s HabiTEQ™ energy automation system. HabiTEQ™ is an automated heating, lighting, and ventilation system, and is controlled by touch or computer, reducing energy by up to 13% on lighting and up to 20% on heating. The system was installed as part of the refurbishment of Embassy Stockholm’s visitors' conference and dining hall.

EV Showcase

Embassy Stockholm also featured US-made electric vehicles at the Embassy on road rallies, large events, Road Shows, and through our Swedish American Green Alliance network of cleantech companies. This work has contributed to an increase exports in Sweden for these U.S. vehicle companies.  U.S. Embassy Stockholm continues to be a unique showplace for U.S. cleantech energy efficiency technology for reaching targets for USG buildings, and equally important, for increasing U.S. cleantech exports under the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI).

The League of Green Embassies, The Origins

The League was begun late in Ambassador Michael Wood’s posting at Embassy Stockholm in conjunction with the installation of district heating for the Embassy, ensuring that residences and chancery were using green energy (Green Certificates).  District heating plants provide higher efficiencies and better pollution control than localized boilers in the cold north. Also, 90% percent of the energy in Swedish district heating system is usually produced with renewable sources. Ambassador Wood initially contacted other U.S. embassies and encouraged them to share their best greening practices on a share point site created for this purpose and named League of Green Embassies.

Then followed EU-wide promotion and communications from Embassy Stockholm Management and Commerce offices with other interested parties in Europe, as well as few embassies outside. The League’s stature was elevated in importance with President Obama’s program for reducing energy consumption in USG buildings. The Overseas Building Operations (OBO) group at the Department of State visited several embassies in Europe during this time, and a special networking session hosted by CS Paris between OBO, Embassy Management Officers, SCOs, and six engaged Ambassadors, including Ambassador Barzun, who chaired the League of Green Embassies at this time.  US Ambassador to Finland Bruce Oreck took over the Chairmanship in 2009. A Platinum Key Service was added to boost US company participation in the League and the National Export Initiative.

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