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Energy efficiency obligation

The Environmental Management Activities Decree (Activiteitenbesluit Milieubeheer) requires organisations in the Netherlands that use 50,000 kWh of electricity or 25,000 m3 of natural gas (or an equivalent) or more per year, to take energy efficiency measures with a payback period of five years or less. This is the energy efficiency obligation.

How do you meet your energy efficiency obligation?

You can meet your energy efficiency obligation by one of the following 3 options:

  1. List all measures with a payback period of five years or less - List all energy efficiency measures taken at your organisation with a payback period of five years or less. The competent authority will decide whether you have met your energy efficiency obligation. Admit the energy efficiency measures via ePortal (eLoket).

  2. Undertake all the relevant EML measures - By taking all of the applicable measures for your business sector on the Recognised Energy Efficiency Measures List (Erkende Maatregelenlijst energiebesparing, or EML) you can meet this energy efficiency obligation. The EML describes the energy efficiency measures with a payback period of five years or less for 19 business sectors.

  3. Apply a portion of the relevant EML measures - Has your organisation taken some of the applicable recognised energy efficiency measures for its business sector? For each applicable recognised measure which you have not taken, you must take an alternative one which is equal or better to it. The competent authority will decide whether you will have met your energy efficiency obligation.

Current Lists of Recognised Energy Efficiency Measures 2019

On 5 March 2019, the updated Recognised Energy Efficiency Measures Lists for 19 business sectors were published in the Government Gazette. The lists include new measures, while outdated techniques or technologies have been deleted. The scope of several lists has also been expanded to include more subsectors and types of buildings.

Were you already taking energy efficiency measures? In that case, you do not need to immediately replace a recognised measure previously taken if the list now has a better measure. This is addressed in the description of the new EML.

Renewable energy is not an energy efficiency measure

Using renewable energy, like solar power or wind power, is not considered an energy efficiency measure. Energy efficiency involves preventing or reducing energy use. For example energy efficiency techniques or technologies as insulating your building or installing LED lighting. It concerns measures that reduce the use of kWh of electricity and/or m3 of natural gas (or an equivalent).