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Obligations in the existing housing stock: Who pays the bill?


The huge saving potential in the existing housing stock is very important for reaching energy efficiency goals. Providing information (energy performance certificates) doesn’t seem to be sufficient to make households invest in energy saving measures. Both on a national and on a European level, policy makers are making the shift towards more mandatory measures. Countries such as the UK and France have energy efficiency obligations for energy suppliers (white certificates) and in the EPBD recast mandatory standards are being introduced. This paper draws on analyses done for the Dutch government. We have evaluated several options for mandatory policy measures, including white certificates, obligations based on energy performance certificates and minimum standards for building components. For a sample of over 4,700 households, representative for the Dutch housing stock, we combined empirical data about their energy consumption, the technical state of their houses and their income. A vast number of combinations of saving measures have been calculated (over 60 per dwelling on average) to evaluate the saving potential and required investment costs per dwelling. With this detailed information we were able to estimate the effect that policy measures have on individual households, what investment costs they have to make to comply with obligations and how much they save on their energy bill. Analysing this sample allows us to draw conclusions about those who benefit and those who have to pay the bill if a policy measure is implemented. We conclude that heating behaviour is a key factor for cost-effectiveness and in this paper we will discuss how this affects the outcome of different types of policy measures and the effect they have on (groups of) individual households.