In accordance with Article 2.15 of the Environmental Management Activities Decree (Activiteitenbesluit milieubeheer), the operator of an institution must take all energy-saving measures with a payback period of five years or less. This provision creates various obligations for property owners and an important complicating factor is that it is not always clear which measures actually need to be taken in order to comply with the rather vaguely worded obligation of Article 2.15. In practice, this results in regular discussions between property owners and the authorities as well as owners and tenants to whom it is not always equally clear what they should and can expect from each other in terms of energy-saving measures.
In order to clear up some of this confusion, a list of so-called “accredited measures” was introduced on 1 December 2015 covering such issues as the building envelope, ventilation, heating, lighting, hot tap water, facilities and (operational) processes. If the owner or a building occupant implements the measures included on the list, they are automatically deemed to have met their obligation pursuant to Article 2.15. As a result, any further discussion of whether the measures are adequate or required becomes no longer necessary.
Incidentally, the list of accredited measures does not necessarily mean that they always have to be implemented; property owners or businesses also have the option of simply demonstrating that they have met their obligation by taking other measures. Of course, in that case – unlike with the accredited measures – it will be up to the authorities to decide whether they consider these measures to be adequate.
Scope of the list of accredited measures
The list that entered into effect on 1 December 2015 was declared to be applicable (only) to the following sectors of industry: offices, healthcare and welfare institutions, educational institutions, metal and electrical engineering and SMEs in the metal industry, vehicle repair companies, rubber and plastics industry and commercial data centres.
List extended as of 1 July 2017
With effect from 1 July 2017, the list of accredited measures has been extended. Five new sectors of industry have been added: hotels and restaurants, sports and leisure, the transport sector, agricultural sector and the food industry. In addition, there are extra measures for the sectors of industry included previously. These extra measures particularly apply to sectors in the 'built environment' (offices, healthcare and education). There are now accredited measures for lift systems, escalator systems, ICT systems, server areas, cooling systems and for the preparation of foods.
In the future, it is expected that accredited measures will be determined for even more sectors of industry. An online consultation has already started on a third tranche of measures, which will include accredited measures for retail trade and warehouses and there are plans for an energy registration and monitoring system for the healthcare and welfare institutions, offices, educational institutions, sport and leisure, hotels and restaurants and retail trade sectors.