With the support of Facilicom Energy Management, in the first half of the year, 129 Dutch organisations reported the introduction of recognised measures to comply with the legal obligations to save energy. In doing so, these organisations have saved 18,692,747 euros in energy costs and 84,210,424 tonnes in CO2 emissions.
In 2019, many Dutch organisations were confronted with legal obligations to introduce energy?saving measures. Organisations that consume more than 50,000 kWh of electricity or 25,000 m3 of gas a year are required to take energy-saving measures with a payback period of five years or less. They are also required to register their chosen measures electronically to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). For organisations employing more than 250 FTEs or with a turnover of more than 50 million euros, the deadline for this disclosure requirement was 5 December 2019. For other organisations, this was 1 July.
Accelerated energy transition
‘The new legal requirements have accelerated the objective of achieving sustainability of the built environment in the Netherlands,’ points out Monica Gaastra, Energy Transition Consultant at Facilicom Energy Management. The obligation to introduce recognised energy-saving measures is set out in the Climate Agreement and the European Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), which aims to make companies and institutions become more aware of their CO2 emissions and the possibilities for energy savings and sustainability. ‘The mandatory EED energy audit and reporting have been in place for several years, although monitoring has so far been sporadic. However, due to the deadlines of July and December, many organisations accelerated their efforts this year.’
Saving euros and CO2 emissions
The recognised energy-saving measures are mandatory for buildings such as offices, industrial buildings, municipalities, healthcare organisations, educational institutions, the hospitality trade and the retail trade. Facilicom Energy Management has also witnessed the diversity of sectors, explains Gaastra. ‘Between 1 January and 1 July 2019, we helped 129 companies and organisations from a whole range of sectors to comply with the legal requirements. The ultimate impact of all these approaches is enormous: these organisations have saved 18,692,747 euros in energy costs and 84,210,424 tonnes in CO2 emissions.’
Contributing to the energy transition
Gaastra notes that more and more organisations in the Netherlands are becoming aware of the possibilities for energy efficiency and sustainability. ‘Some organisations focus on complying with the legal obligations and are therefore primarily eager to minimise their own burden in order to determine the appropriate energy-saving measures, for example. But there are also businesses that want to be in the forefront and to make sustainability part of their brand and company image. Regulations like the requirement to disclose this information are beneficial because it makes it clearer for the whole country to see which measures are being taken: we are given an up-to-date picture of the actual phase in which the energy transition is.’
The growing awareness of the tangible and positive contribution that organisations are making to the energy transition can also be seen in the rating given to Facilicom Energy Management for its Recognised Measures Scan: participants score the service with an average of 9.1.
A long way to go
Gaastra emphasises that organisations that now meet the requirement to disclose information still have a long way to go. ‘The EED report shows how and what you can save, but that does not always mean the measures have actually been implemented. Sometimes organisations still need to free up the funds. And there may also be other reasons not to invest immediately in new installations or systems. Technological developments are moving so fast that organisations sometimes choose to postpone until proven, effective solutions are available.’
Gaastra also notes the dramatic change in how organisations regard energy management. ‘Organisations are now much more aware of the challenges and work involved in realising the energy transition. The subject is now on the agenda at more and more levels. Until recently, it was primarily facility managers, technical staff, buyers and other professionals at tactical level who addressed sustainability. Now, the subject is also on the agenda in the boardroom.
Facilicom supports clients in government, the social domain and business community with energy management, circularity and sustainability. As one of the largest employers in the Netherlands, the company is also ensuring its own business operations are sustainable. For example, the family business aims to become CO2 neutral by 2030. That is twenty years earlier than the requirement for businesses set out in the Paris Agreement. Last week, Facilicom Group organised dozens of promotions as part of its Sustainability Day to raise awareness among employees to make sustainable choices. These included the use of plastics and travelling by public transport.