the Netherlands The energy suppliers in the Netherlands has signed an agreement with the Government to work for lower energy consumption in households and small businesses.

After an extended period of negotiations between the Dutch government and the energy sector, an agreement has been reached to save an additional 2.8 TWh of energy consumption in 2020, corresponding to the energy consumption of approximately 150,000 Dutch households. If these aims are not achieved, then the government has the option to impose compulsory measures.

Rolling out smart products
The grid operator will continue to roll out smart meters, and the energy suppliers will provide customers with more frequent and improved consumption readings and bills. The energy suppliers will also offer their customers targeted offers for services to provide an insight into energy consumption, smart thermostats and other money saving products.

“The purpose of the agreement is for a total of 750,000 Dutch households to have these smart products and services activated or installed in 2020”, said Wouter Wolfswinkel, Programme Manager for Business Development Customer & Solutions at Nuon, who was involved in bringing about the agreement.

Nuon has also undertaken to improve the consumption and cost statement and billing that customers receive.

“In this way, the customer will receive clearer information about their energy consumption, so that they can save more”, Wouter Wolfswinkel explains. “For example, the statement and bill could be sent by email or be viewed using an app.”

Nuon will furthermore provide its customers with more insight into their energy consumption by analysing data from smart meters.

Alied Wessels Boer, Policy Adviser for Public & Regulatory Affairs (PRA) at Nuon, said: “We will develop products and services that are linked to this data, and we will provide our customers with more feedback on their consumption of energy. In addition, there is a firm commitment by all suppliers to inform their customers about energy savings and the products and services of energy suppliers. We will be starting on this very soon.”

Heat pumps first step
Besides fitting smart meters and thermostats, the installation of heat pumps is another good first step towards achieving the objectives of the agreement. A heat pump often is both economically and environmentally beneficial.

 “Ultimately it is a change in the behaviour and investment of homeowners that will bring about change, and we have no control over that. But we are going to actively support them in this initiative,” Alied Wessels Boer says.

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