Energy conservation in the built environment

Netbeheer Nederland, the Association of Energy Network Operators in the Netherlands, commissioned CE Delft to carry out a study on energy conservation in the built environment in the Netherlands, with particular focus on the design of an Energy Conservation (EC) system to speed up progress on this issue. In the built environment there are a range of measures available for this purpose:

  • changes in comfort levels (e.g. lower room temperature and wearing a sweater, fewer appliances)
  • changes in consumption behaviour (e.g. lower temperature when not at home)
  • investment in building insulation
  • investment in ventilation/heating plant
  • choice of energy carriers (renewably sourced heat instead of natural gas)

For least-cost progress towards sustainability, in principle all these measures need to be encouraged, particularly the cheapest. :

To achieve the targets laid down in the national Energy Agreement, viz. 100 PJ extra energy savings, additional efforts are required – to the tune of 20 PJ. This is the figure agreed between the government and the Committee charged with securing the terms of the Energy Agreement. The cabinet is considering introducing additional incentives obliging energy suppliers (or grid operators) to improve energy efficiency in the built environment. :

Building on earlier research, this study reviews the policy instruments available to achieve energy savings and greater use of renewable energy in the built environment. First the cost-effectiveness and efficacy of both generic and specific policies is analysed (Chapter 2). Given the need for a reduction of 20 PJ in the near term, further consideration is given to the options for developing some form of energy saving certificates, proceeding from the existing review of the European energy efficiency directive (Chapter 3). Finally, the scope for flanking policy to help resolve the main bottlenecks is assessed (Chapter 4).