Sustainability and energy poverty in the Municipality of Waterland

CE Delft was commissioned by the Waterland Audit Office (Rekenkamercommissie) to conduct research into the policies deployed by the Municipality of Waterland to promote sustainability among its residents and combat energy poverty.

We conclude that the measures taken by the Municipality of Waterland contribute to some extent to the vision of being energy neutral by 2050. However, insufficient capacity and structural budget has been made available to achieve this target. In general, this is also the case for most of the small municipalities in the Netherlands.

We also examined the framework-setting and monitoring role of the City Council and how the council fulfils this role. We conclude that the City Council is in a position to assume the framework-setting role, although no unambiguous frameworks have been set in recent years. The City Council is not given the opportunity to adequately fulfil its monitoring role, but it also does not take steps to assume this role.

CE Delft’s advice to the Municipal Executive of Waterland includes being clear about policy frameworks when drafting new policies and providing policies with clear intermediate targets.We also recommend developing a new vision for its energy poverty policy and combining the various government schemes into a coherent programme for its residents.

The City Council of Waterland is advised to ask the Municipal Executive of Waterland to adopt clear interim reports and develop its own new performance indicators, as well as making sufficient funding available for the task of becoming energy neutral.