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Saving energy is not easy: An impact assessment of Dutch policy to reduce the energy requirements of buildings

  • Author(s)/Creator(s):
    Kees Vringer
    Manon van Middelkoop
    Nico Hoogervorst
  • Publisher(s)/Producter(s):

The Dutch Government stimulates the application of energy efficiency measures to reduce the energy requirements of buildings, which are responsible for about 20% of the Dutch CO2 emissions. For our assessment, we followed a qualitative approach, due to a lack of data. We reviewed the mix of policy instruments and used stakeholder surveys and interviews. We found that energy use is not very likely to decline fast enough to achieve the Dutch policy targets for 2020. For new buildings, the policy mix works well, but its contribution to the policy targets is limited. For non-residential buildings the current Act, which obliges enterprises to take cost-effective measures, could be enforced to a greater degree. For privately owned homes a more compelling policy is needed. An alternative policy option would be to make taxation dependent on the energy label of residential houses. This would stimulate residents to take action while retaining the desired autonomy. For rental housing, binding agreements between municipalities and housing corporations may lead to more energy saving measures. Finally, we conclude that the Dutch energy tax is an important pillar of the current policy. It provides higher cost-effectiveness of energy saving measures and legitimates more strict energy efficiency standards.

Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations
Policy Quality
Personal Finance
Corporate Finance
Public Finance