External assessment of a pilot scheme to integrate reporting on environment and energy*

Dutch companies currently submit their Annual Environmental Report in electronic form, and consideration is being given to a similar means of reporting on company energy performance under long-term negotiated agreements on energy efficiency. The aim: savings on administrative expenditure. To this end 40 industries with energy performance obligations participated in a pilot scheme in which they were asked to report electronically in this case, too. To evaluate this pilot scheme, Novem, the Netherlands Agency for Energy and the Environment, asked CE to conduct a series of interviews with representatives of industry, the Competent Authority and sectoral consultants. In terms of time saved, companies saw only limited benefits in the new arrangement, although the availability of the previous year’s data was deemed a major advantage. The following main problems were reported by both industry and the Competent Authority:
  • the limited availability of the Helpdesk;
  • the need for users to log in to check for updates;
  • the incompatibility of an internet-based scheme with internal network security.
The report makes recommendations to remedy these and other, less serious problems. It is also emphatically recommended that the Competent Authority play an active role in overall introduction of any such scheme. Based on the results, Novem has advised the Ministry of Economic Affairs to continue its pursuit of integrated reporting on environment and energy.

Delft, June 2004