Extra investment in energy efficiency in the existing housing stock would create a significant number of jobs in construction and upstream supply. That is the conclusion of a study carried out by SEO economic consultancy and CE Delft for the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Environment.
Depending on the efficiency targets adopted, annual investments of between €2.5 and 4 billion would lead to net additional employment of 67,000 to 110,000 man-years through to 2020. Such a programme would entail improving the energy performance of virtually all Dutch homes and would create new jobs in construction and upstream supply, many segments of which are currently suffering a considerable downturn in demand. Unemployment in the building industry is rising rapidly and presently stands at around 40,000.
A 2% per annum improvement in energy efficiency through to 2020 would require a total additional investment of around €20 billion. Adopting a more robust target (2%+ p.a.) would entail all privately owned homes being upgraded to energy label C and all rented homes to label B. For this scenario a total additional investment of €33 billion would be needed.
Over and against these investments stand annual savings on energy bills for Dutch households, amounting to €1 billion and €1.5 billion respectively in the 2% and 2%+ scenario. Depending on how the scheme is funded, there may be a net monthly windfall for households as a result of such investments in energy efficiency.