Impact and elaboration of an Energy Conservation Fund

This report, prepared at the request of the Dutch environment ministry, VROM, looks into the options for setting up an Energy Conservation Fund to encourage investments in energy efficiency by private home owners and the utility building sector. It examines the costs and impacts of energy conservation measures and the (financial) barriers currently impeding their implementation. A range of incentives for removing these barriers are then assessed, viz. a government guarantee on loans, a subsidy on interest payments, a limited investment subsidy and several hybrid variants. The option ‘energy loan with guarantee’ is then elaborated in more detail.

One of the report’s final conclusions is that loan access and affordability are a necessary but not sufficient condition for securing substantial cuts in CO2 emissions and an attendant improvement in local environmental quality and quality of life. It is therefore recommended to make serious efforts on other fronts, too, so that the lack of knowledge and sense of urgency and ingrained opposition on the part of home owners can be remedied. In this respect, first and second time buyers in lower and medium income brackets are a key target group.

Meanwhile, political agreement has been reached on the design of a guarantee scheme for energy credits, to be announced this month in the Government Gazette.