EPBD in the Netherlands

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Implementation of the EPBD in The Netherlands

National Plan

The EPBD demands a national plan to reduce energy use and reduce emissions of carbon dioxide. This has been written in the Netherlands and published at the site of the national government at 28 september 2012. The targets in this plan are for all (new) government buildings after 2018 to be NZEB and all other new buildings after 2020. The plan contains a set of distinct measures, ranging from regulation to local innovative programs and pilots. Some highlights are described in this article.


(Part of) the EPBD has been translated into national regulation: Besluit Energieprestatie Gebouwen/Resolution Energy performance Buildings (BEG) and Regeling Energieprestatie Gebouwen/ Regulation Energy performance Buildings (REG) and the “Activiteitenbesluit” (Activities Resolution).

  • The BEG contains a translation of some important facets of the EPBD. The main topics are:
- Compulsory official energy performance certificate/energy label (EPC) for each built or sold building (excluded are certain monuments).
- Compulsory public display of energy performance certificate of public buildings larger than 1000m2 (the EPBD demands 500m2 and from july 9 2015: 250m2)
- Airconditioningssystems (>= 12kW) are inspected at least once every five years by a an independant and qualified expert. The rapport will contain a judgement and an advice for improvements for the user.
  • The REG gives more details on how this resolution should be put into practice.

For example, what should an Energy performance certificate/energy label look like (assessment and advice) and who is allowed to give these labels (only EPBD-certified inspectors, from The Netherlands and other EU countries).

  • The Activiteitenbesluit describes the environmental requirements for installations.

Energy Performance Label

There is a standard energy performance label in The Netherlands which is called EPC (energy performance coefficient). The calculations that lead tot this are registered in the NEderlandse Norm (NEN) 7120 and they are included in the national “Bouwbesluit” (Building Resolution), which regulates all building activities in The Netherlands.

In 1996 for the first time there was an EPC requirement for new residential buildings: the EPC had to be below 1.4 (a value of 1 was the avarage energy performance of a house in 1990). The norm was tightened every few years since then, after a feasibility study. The current EPC requirement is 0.6 for residential buildings and from 1-1-2015 it will be 0.4. For non-residential buildings the current EPC-requirement varies between 1.1 and 2.6, depending on the main function of the building.

Important principle in the NEN norm is that regardless of the type, shape or size of the house,similar provisions will lead to more or less the same performance: in other words, big houses with a lot of roof- or facade area are allowed to use more energy to meet the same performance-requirements. A building that is completely energy neutral has an EPC of 0. Because builders are allowed to determine the measures for reaching the norm themselves, the gevernment states with the EPC requirement a minimum Rc-value for the shell, to stimulate energy reduction.

For collective sources of energy there is a norm since july 1st 2012, called EMG (energy performance measures at a regional level). It contains the calculations needed to take collective energy measures into account when labeling a building. Since it is a very recent norm, it is not complete yet: this period is being used to experiment with it. Also, it is not possible to build a non-energy efficient building by using the regional measures as main input for the EPC: there is a minimum requirement for the building itself (without counting the EMG the energy performance of the building itself is not allowed to be worse than 1,33 times the EPC requirement).

The different norms are now restricted to new buildings, but will be used for existing buildings in the future.

Use of Renewable energy sources

The EPC is set up in a way that stimulates the use of renewable sources of energy. These will give a better EPC-value compared to use of traditional, non-renewable sources.


19 Areas in The Netherlands are running programs of national and regional governments to stimulate experimenting with energy efficient building. Different consortia do building projects using innovative techniques and trying to make them more cost effective and ready to market, by innovation of processes and techniques. Knowledge gained in these programs is actively spread in the building community with the aim of speeding up the transition to energy efficient building. Local governments outside these experimental areas are not allowed to sharpen requirements in their local building policies.

There are also programs running that target the existing buildings. They gain experience in for example how to reach cost-effective energy efficiency in major renovations and how to stimulate consumers to take these measures.

Programmes are financed from several different funds, public and private.

Financial Incentives

Beside these programs there are some financial incentives for companies and individuals to invest in energy-saving measures in their buildings, like a tax reduction on labour and a for companies a tax deduction of the investment. Also since 2013 there is a revolving fund for private home owners: “the national savings fund”. It contains public (national government) and private means (two banks) and provides loans with an attractive interest rate for energy-saving meaures.

Local Agreements

Some regional multi-party agreements (e.g. Green Deals) have been made to stimulate the transition. For example in Amsterdam, where the local government strives to have all new buildings energy neutral from 2015 onwards. This means a local sharpening of the buidling requirements, which requires agreements and dealing with obstacles.

Smart Meters and behavioural change

Introduction of so-called Smart Meters in new buildings, with deep retrofitting, with regular maintenance and when the consumer does a personal request. These smart meters give direct insight in energy use and are regarded as an important aid in changing consumer behaviour. Also research is being conducted to find out what drives consumers decisions and behaviour regarding sustainable renovations, so that this information can be used for improving the effectivity of policymaking and marketing efforts.

Sources: nationaal-plan-bijna-energieneutrale-gebouwen

regulations on energy label

innovatieagenda energie

National actionplan for C02-reduction "Schoon en zuinig"

Convenant "Meer met minder", national ambitions for energy reduction in existing buildings