Under the Energy Agreement (dEA) for Sustainable Growth, the Netherlands has set a goal for a sustainable energy supply system by 2050.  The Agreement sets overall building targets for the Netherlands, establishing specific building sector targets that take into account a target number of buildings to be renovated by 2020, and an increase in energy labelling for the existing building stock by at least two label steps. By 2030, the average for the existing building stock is targeted to be label A (or better). The dEA for Sustainable Growth calls upon market parties to actively promote ESCOs and “Green Leases” and has introduced a National Energy Saving Fund as new financial mechanism in 2014.  Since the 1990s, the Netherlands has had strong taxation mechanisms in place to support energy efficiency efforts.

The Policy Tool for Renovation highlights six key areas where the Netherland’s Renovation Policy Package excels: overall country reduction targets, labelling schemes, incentive schemes, taxation mechanisms, utility-funded energy efficiency programmes, training and education campaigns and a one-stop solution centre.

The residential consumption in the Netherlands has been reducing steadily for the past few decades as well as the GDP, making it a prime candidate for the comparison study.  There is a slight increase in 2008-2009 that can be explained by the financial crisis in Europe during that period. Population is 16.7 million (Eurostat, 2012).

Regulatory Measures

Overall Targets

Under the Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth, the Netherlands has set a goal to have a sustainable energy supply system by 2050. This requires final energy savings of 1,5% a year and of 100 PJ saving by 2020, as of September 2013. The Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth shows the willingness of many building stakeholders to commit themselves to the energy preservation of our society and economy.  The agreement includes a significant number of stakeholders and more than forty organisations, including employers' and workers' organizations, nature and environmental organisations, social organizations, financial institutions.

More info: Dutch Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth

Renovation Targets for Residential Buildings

Reassessment of the “More with Less Programme” sets overall building targets for the Netherlands.  As of September 2013, the objectives of the latest energy report for the built environment in the Netherlands “Energieakkoord voor duurzame groei” are:

  • By 2020, the parties must achieve at least the objectives of the European Energy Efficiency Directive ( EED ), the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive ( EPBD ) and the Ecodesign Directive.
  • By 2020, the requirements set renovation target of 300,000 homes and improvement of existing residential buildings by two label classes (20/30% more energy efficient).
  • By 2020, new buildings must be nearly zero energy (and from 2018 for public buildings).
  • Rented buildings must have an average label B in social housing and minimal label C for 80 % of private rental in 2020.

More info: Dutch Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth

Renovation Targets for Public Buildings

The Netherlands’ public building targets refer to the objectives of the recast EPBD, which requires nearly-zero energy performance for new government buildings by the end of 2018 and for all other buildings including residential by the end of 2020.

Building Assessment

Building Code Requirements for Renovations

The Dutch Building Decree, Bouwbesluit 2012: Chapter 5 (NEN 7120:2011), requires minimum levels of energy performance expressed by EPC or energy performance coefficient for new buildings and in the case of renovations (ingrijpende renovatie) that can be considered to be the highest level of Renovation. A better performance than the minimum level cannot be required, but parties may agree on higher performances on a voluntary basis.


  • Roof – 0.4 W/(m2.K)
  • Wall – 0.4 W/(m2.K)
  • Window - 1.4 - 6.0 W/(m2·K) (Prescribed u-values differ depending on type of glazing, number of layers and placement etc)

Value for airtightness - 200 dm3/s @10 Pa or 200 dm3/s per 500 m3 @10 Pa.  'For residential buildings, 200 dm3/s @10 Pa and for non-residential buildings 200 dm3/s per 500 m3 @10 Pa

Code available here

Labelling Schemes

Energy Performance Certification for existing buildings first came into force on January 1st 2008. The certification of new buildings was introduced into Dutch law as early as 1995. Since the 1st of January 2013 there is an obligation to transfer an energy certificate at the time of sale or rental of a building or building unit. The certificates are valid for 10 years.  It is a legal requirement that an energy label is provided to the buyer or new tenant of a new property. Sanctions for failure to comply with this requirement have not yet been implemented and are currently being prepared.

The Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC) was founded in 2008 as a market initiative and they have developed a labelling scheme called Beoordelingsrichtlijn Bestaande Bouw & Gebruik that assesses existing buildings energy usage.  The aim of this was to measure the sustainability of the building industry by developing a voluntary sustainability label allowing for the uniform rating of buildings throughout the Netherlands. 

More info: Energie Gebouwen and Energiecijfers Gebouwen

Financial Instruments

Incentive Schemes

The Dutch Energy Agreement (dEA) for Sustainable Growth reaffirmed the need for affordable and broadly available financing for energy efficiency investments in existing real estate, for this they have set up the Nationaal Energiebespaarfonds’ (National Energy Saving Fund).  This calls upon market parties to actively promote energy service companies (ESCOs) and so-called “Green Lease” contracts as of 2014. Among the measures set by the Dutch Energy Agreement (dEA), a €600 million revolving fund has been established to enable financial institutions to provide energy efficiency loans at attractive interest for landlords and private homeowners. The fund will see an initial government contribution of €150 million, which is to be met by a €450 million commitment from market parties, possibly to be increased with money from the European Energy Efficiency Fund. The dEA furthermore envisages the possibility, subject to the outcome of consultations with relevant regulatory authorities, for energy companies to offer customers the possibility to pay back loans for energy saving measures through their energy bill.

More info: Dutch Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth and Rijksoverheid

Taxation Mechanisms

Implemented in 1997, The Energy Investment Allowance (EIA) is a measure set by the Ministries of Finance and Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation. The Tax and Customs Administration administer the EIA.  Until recently, housing corporations and private landlords could receive the EIA temporarily if they improved their properties by at least two label stages, or to energy label B. This was a measure set in the Dutch government’s Crisis and Recovery Package. This temporary EIA ended on 1 December 2010. In autumn 2010 some incentives for house building were announced. These fiscal measures cost €195 million.

Energy / Carbon Tax

A Regulatory Energy Tax (REB) was introduced in 1996 for environmental reasons. Energy Tax is a tax on energy consumption that intends to improve the cost-effectiveness of measures aimed at energy saving and renewable energy.  The Energy Tax significantly increases energy prices for small-scale consumers, such as households (up to 5 000 m3 gas and 10 000 kWh) to promote energy efficiency.  The energy tax applies to electricity and natural gas and has increased every year. It is expected to be so in the future. The Revenue collected from the Regulatory Energy Tax (REB) was redistributed to consumers through grants, and tax reductions for producers of renewable energy sources.

More info: Eurima

Economic Instruments

Utility-Funded Energy Efficiency Programmes

A dynamic market for energy service companies is not yet fully developed in the Netherlands.

Market Instruments for Energy Efficient Renovations

A dynamic market for energy service companies is not yet fully developed in the Netherlands.The Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands’ market study shows that around 50 companies (construction or engineering) deliver energy services as their primary business. The providers offer project management (design, build, finance) or service management (operate, maintain) and a combination of renewable and energy efficient technologies.  Some suppliers of energy services provide a complete package of services (financing and design of installations) whereas deliver a more limited package although comfort and energy savings are central to all of them.  Energy efficiency is provided as part of the general energy services.  Energy saving measures have become more beneficial for households in the Netherlands due to substantial energy taxes being initiated.

More info: Europa

General Information & Capacity Building

Training and Education Campaigns

The Dutch Energy Agreement (dEA) for Sustainable Growth mentions a communications ‘campaign’ to stress the importance of energy saving, starting in early 2014. This calls for the Dutch government, provinces, municipalities, consumer organisations and market parties to provide consumers (owners and tenants) and professionals with relevant information on energy renovation (possibilities, subsidies, etc).

Some market parties have developed courses and materials for building parties interested in deep renovation. The agency on behalf of the central government provides market parties with specialised information. The program ‘Energy Leap’ is enhancing cooperation between housing corporations and building parties to realise 111,000 zero-energy homes. This project is called ‘Stroomversnelling’.  Market parties have developed courses and materials for building parties interested in deep renovation, these have also been introduced into some university programmes.

More info: RVO

One Stop Solution Centre

The agency on behalf of the Dutch government provides market parties with information and tools on energy renovation projects, including deep renovation. also has a helpdesk for entrepreneurs. The website provides information on regulations and subsidies for individual entrepreneurs. 

The program Energy Leap specialises in deep renovation. 

More info: RVOEnergie Sprong and Ons Huis Verdient

Overall Performance

Please see Create Graphs tab above.