In the Netherlands businesses and institutions are obliged under the Environmental Control Act to take steps to conserve energy if the costs of such measures can be recuperated within five years. A study by CE Delft and the DCMR Environmental Protection Agency shows that in the Netherlands as a whole there is potential for saving 47 PJ a year (the energy consumption of 500,000 dwellings) simply by following the letter of the Environmental Control Act – which is good news for every local authority pursuing pro-active climate policy.
The study is based on energy checks carried out over the past few years by DCMR at around 400 larger organisations such as secondary schools, nursing homes and offices. Besides providing information on energy performance, this also yielded insight into the usefulness and necessity of energy conservation measures. This environmental target approach is also available at www.dcmr.nl. If local authorities throughout the Netherlands were to follow up on the Environmental Control Act in this way, these kinds of institutions could on average save 15-20% on their energy consumption by implementing cost-effective measures with a payback of five years or less. On the basis of this study it can be concluded that it makes sense for local authorities to make systematic efforts to conserve energy in conformity with the Environmental Control Act, because this can lead to substantial savings on energy consumption.