Energy performance requirements for existing homes

One of the main goals of the Dutch Energy Transition Platform for the Built Environment (PeGO) is to achieve a 30 percent reduction in energy consumption in the built environment by 2020. As part of these efforts the platform is keen to explore the scope for including a general energy performance requirement in the Building Decree, applicable to all existing dwellings. In the ‘Clean and Efficient’ programme – in which the sitting government describes how it intends to secure its climate policy targets – this is also cited as a policy option.

This led to an exploratory study on acceptable and affordable energy performance requirements for this sector and an indication of the potential reduction in CO2 emissions that can thus be achieved. In this study an energy-saving measure is deemed affordable if the investment is recuperated within the technical lifetime. Most dwellings rented by housing co-ops and other such organisations can achieve a ‘B’ label by means of cost-effective investments. This would yield roughly 2.4 of the envisaged 2.6 Mt CO2 reduction and would consequently make a sizeable contribution to the climate targets for the built environment in 2020. In the case of private ownership, a ‘B’ label can only be cost-effectively achieved for about 15% of dwelling types. This is around 22% of the total private housing stock as of the year 2000. Compared with housing co-ops, private owners have less scope for implementing energy-saving measures across an entire complex of buildings, leading to higher costs. If a ‘B’ label is indeed attainable in these 22% of dwellings, a CO2 reduction of around 1.5 Mt is feasible. As about 79% of the housing stock currently scores worse than a ‘C’ label, it is quite probable that making a ‘C’ label mandatory would also lead to interesting CO2 reductions. Subsequently, though, it would be relatively expensive to achieve an ‘A’ or ‘B ‘ label. 

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