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In the Netherlands, businesses must comply with the energy saving regulations listed in the Activities Decree (Activiteitenbesluit). They achieve compliance by reducing their energy demand, by applying sustainable technologies and by using renewable energy sources.
- If your company's annual energy consumption exceeds 50,000 kWh (electricity), 25,000 m3 (gas) or the equivalent in another fuel (in Dutch), you must take energy-saving measures if you can recover the costs in less than 5 years. Recognised energy saving measures (in Dutch) have been laid down for each sector.
- If your company consumes more than 200,000 kWh or 75,000 m3, the municipal authorities may require that you carry out an energy saving study.
You must consider requirements from the Building Decree 2012 when building new business premises or renovating them. For example, with the energy performance coefficient (EPC) you indicate how energy-efficient your premises are.
Check which energy-saving laws apply
All entrepreneurs are subject to laws with regard to saving energy. In just a few questions this Dutch-language online tool on energy saving laws helps you determine which energy laws apply to your business.
Obligation to report energy-saving measures
Reporting energy-saving measures is compulsory for companies (in Dutch) which use 50,000 kWh of electricity or 25,000 m3 of natural gas (or equivalent). The government opened an ePortal for reporting which energy-saving measures (in Dutch) your company has taken.
Almost Energy Neutral Buildings (BENG)
As of 1 January 2021 all new buildings must meet the Almost Energy Neutral Building requirements (Bijna Energieneutrale Gebouwen, BENG) to reduce energy consumption. These are strict requirements that result from the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. BENG requirements replace the Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) model that was in use before. These requirements have been added to the Building Decree.
Energy performance is determined by:
- maximum energy demand in kWh per square meter per year (kWh/m2.yr) – BENG 1 (in Dutch)
- maximum primary fossil energy consumption in kWh per square meter per year (kWh/m2.yr) – BENG 2 (in Dutch)
- percentage of the minimum share of renewable energy – BENG 3 (in Dutch)
All 3 requirements must meet the threshold. These requirements (in Dutch) replace the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) requirements. There is a separate requirement for the exterior of buildings. These should be designed in a way that reduces energy consumption as much as possible.
In 2023 all office buildings should be energy efficient and have energy label C or better. This means an energy index of 1,3 or more.
Reducing use of natural gas
Government measures to reduce the use of natural gas to combat climate change are also underway. Reduction of the use of natural gas is at present mainly aimed at housing (in Dutch).
Mandatory energy audit large firms
All companies in the Netherlands with more than 250 employees or with a gross annual turnover of more than €50 million and a balance sheet greater than €43 million, need to make mandatory energy audits at least every 4 years.
Smart energy meter
If you have a smart energy meter (in Dutch), you will not have to submit meter readings yourself anymore. The smart meter in-home display (IHD) helps you to keep track of your energy consumption and the costs involved. In the event of replacement, new construction or large-scale renovation, your regional grid operator must install a smart energy meter at your location. You can also request a smart meter on your own initiative.
Finance guide to energy-efficient building
Building contractors can advise their clients on financial assistance available to construct and renovate more energy-efficient buildings using this finance guide (pdf, in Dutch) by Bouwend Nederland.