The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK) is intending to introduce a resolution to amend the Energy Invoice, Consumption and Indicative Cost Overview Decree. New obligations for regional network managers and for suppliers of gas, electricity, heating and cooling should contribute to a further CO2 reduction and therefore a better environment. How?

Improving the consumption and indicative costs overview

By ensuring that from now on, energy suppliers will provide to end users (on the basis of consumption data supplied by network managers) a monthly consumption and indicative costs overview by means of a smart meter. A smart meter is a gas, electricity, heating or cooling meter that can be read remotely. This overview is currently issued once every two months.

Moreover, the intention is that in future, this overview will be accompanied by energy saving advice, which will include information about sustainable behavioural alternatives that can help when choosing between energy saving measures. This advice has no prescribed form and can vary from standard saving advice to more personal advice. For the purpose of this energy advice, suppliers will have no access to data other than that which they already have for drawing up the invoice and the consumption and costs overview.

A valuable contribution to sustainable goals

The aim of these amendments is to achieve a potential energy saving that can contribute to a further CO2 reduction and therefore a better environment. The current means of sending consumption and indicative costs overviews seems to have had too little effect.

The proposed amendments are therefore part of the Built Environment Energy Saving Agreement 10 PJ, which was signed on 23 May 2017. In that agreement, trade associations and the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economic Affairs are targeting an extra saving of 10 PJ final energy for the target groups residents (owners or tenants) of a dwelling, owners’ associations, lessees and small business users in 2020.

The consumption and costs overview enables end consumers to obtain a better understanding of their energy consumption. In a memorandum, the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) asserts that foreign research shows that a better understanding of energy consumption resulting from a more regular and improved consumption and costs overview can yield extra energy savings. The ECN is assuming an improvement potential of a possible extra saving of 2.8% on gas consumption and 2.7% on electricity consumption. Although a more regular and better overview can result in energy savings, far greater savings can be achieved if end consumers receive targeted savings advice about adjusting behaviour, taking measures or a combination of both. Personal, specific and well-timed tips are expected to yield more energy savings than the current referral to an external source to find information about energy saving measures. Furthermore, the ECN expects that people are more likely to translate this monthly feedback into more specific actions, such as “what can I do next month to reduce my energy consumption?” or “am I likely to save a monthly amount of x as a result?”

In conclusion, what also contributes to the intended energy saving is the active supply of overviews electronically instead of by post, e.g. via an e-mail or push notification. This avoids unnecessary paper use. The post options remains possible if the end consumer requests such or if an electronic communication is not possible because the supplier does not have the end consumer’s e-mail address or the e-mail address proves to be invalid.

You can contribute constructively and submit your opinion regarding this amendment resolution via an Internet consultation. This possibility is open until 27 December 2017. If you need assistance or a second opinion in contributing your view to the online consultations, do not hesitate to contact us.