Energy Performance of Companies and Buildings in the Netherlands – on the Move
Recently, many legislative changes in the Netherlands have been announced or have entered into force with regard to the energy performance of companies and buildings. Some of these changes are far-reaching and may require substantial investments.
Directive (EU) 2018/844
This Directive is an amendment to the Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings and Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency. Most notable in this Directive is the obligation for new non-residential buildings and non-residential buildings that undergo a major renovation with more than 10 parking spaces to install at least one charging point for electric cars, and at least one in five parking spaces already to be cabled.
Whether the objectives of the Directive will achieve a certain goal is another question:
- the number of fully electric cars will increase strongly in view of the many models announced for 2019. Due to the large battery capacities announced, it is necessary for a car to be connected to a charging station for a longer period of time, often a full working day. Only one charging station per parking lot of more than 10 parking spaces is therefore a questionable requirement. Even the provision of cables can be on the “lighter” side so to speak.
- the Directive gives a lot of freedom to find “work-arounds” to the above mentioned requirements. If one wants to avoid having to install an electrical infrastructure for charging points, this can be done simply by not renovating the parking space, for example during a renovation of the building.
The Directive must be incorporated into Dutch legislation on 10 March 2020.
Offices: From Compulsory Energy Label C in 2023 to Energy Label A in 2030
The C-label obligation applies from 1 January 2023 for office buildings and is laid down in the 2012 Building Decree. Both a separate building, and a part of a larger building, can be considered as an office building as long as there is a building or part of a building with one or more office functions and ancillary functions (e.g. a canteen). An office building on the site of a chemical company with a floor area of 100 m2 or more is therefore also covered by this rule. The labelling obligation also applies if the office is part of an MJA (Long-Term Agreements energy saving) company (or similar) where savings / measures are made to the office building component of the EEP (plan instead of performance).
Office owners may suffice to take measures with a payback period of up to 10 years, when the measures required for the label C obligation have a payback period of more than 10 years, in order to prevent disproportionate costs. When renting a property, it is possible that the tenant will pay for the costs of the structural adjustments, this depends on what is included in the rental contract.
The consequences for non-compliance with the label C requirement are far-reaching: the amendment to the 2012 Building Decree means that it is prohibited from 1 January 2023 to use an office building without having minimum energy label C.
If an office building is to be made more sustainable or not, consideration must be paid to future targets; the next label step is already in 2030. Then all offices must have an energy label A. In short: why not directly upgrade to an energy label A?
Reporting Obligation for Energy-Saving Measures
As of 1 July 2019, a reporting obligation applies to companies for taking energy-saving measures to improve upon their energy performance. Companies must report to the competent authority which energy-saving measures they have taken within their company. This duty to report, also referred to as a duty to provide information, is included in Article 2.15 of the Activities Decree.
If a company had not yet been established/formed on 1 January 2019, that company must report on energy-saving measures for the first time at the latest one year after the company was founded.
If a company is part of an enterprise, which is not a small or medium-sized enterprise, as referred to in Article 8 (4) of the Energy Efficiency Directive, that company must report on energy-saving measures for the first time by 5 December 2019 at the latest. The report may use the energy audit for the group of which the company is part.
What to Report
The savings from the EML (i.e. the recognised measure list or overview of recognised energy saving measures, article 10, Activities Regulation) for the industry are leading. A deviation from this must be explained. Taking alternative measures with sufficient justification of the energy-saving effect remains possible. A combination of EML measures and alternative options may therefore also be reported.
If there is no EML for the company or it is not usable, all energy-saving measures must be taken that have a payback time of 5 years or less. It is up to the competent authority to determine whether you have met the energy saving obligation.
Non-Compliance Reporting Obligation
If a company does not submit a report or an incorrect report is submitted, the company does not comply with the reporting obligation and enforcement action can be taken (fine from €1,000).
Entry into Force
The amendment of the Activities Decree will take effect on 1 July 2019. This is the date on which companies must report on energy-saving measures at the latest for the first time. The report must therefore take place before 1 July 2019. Companies must report, for the first time, the period from January-June 2019. On 1 July 2019, a company is otherwise in violation of the information obligation.
Please note: These are shortened texts. For exact conditions, consult Pegasus Legal Register or the relevant law.