Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland

Utrecht, Netherlands

Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland

Utrecht, Netherlands

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Cagno E.,Polytechnic of Milan | Trianni A.,Polytechnic of Milan | Abeelen C.,Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland | Worrell E.,University Utrecht | Miggiano F.,Polytechnic of Milan
Energy Conversion and Management | Year: 2015

Increased energy efficiency represents a crucial opportunity for European industrial sustainability, but several barriers still need to be tackled. Thus, it is crucial to understand the existing mismatches between the perception of enterprises and what the major actors promoting energy efficiency believe enterprises suffer from and need within the decision-making process. To do so, we have performed an exploratory investigation analysing a set of manufacturing enterprises participating in the Dutch voluntary agreements. The study involved the major external actors, i.e. the national energy agency, governmental and industrial organisations, to map their views on the decision-making process. Results show that enterprises agree not only on the most important barriers and drivers, but also on the mechanisms underlying them. However, even a general common understanding of the barriers is disputed when major external actors are considered, as they only agree on the primary role of economic barriers. Mismatches appear when considering how single barriers affect the decision-making process and which drivers - and actors promoting them - need to be addressed. Although voluntary agreements represent the most popular instrument on energy efficiency in the Netherlands, they do not seem to be considered by small and medium-sized enterprises as a stimulus for improving energy efficiency. Crucial for future success are the link with other policy instruments, and the degree to which the instruments trigger the right drivers and barriers at the right moment. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Abeelen C.,Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland | Harmsen R.,University Utrecht | Worrell E.,University Utrecht
Energy Efficiency | Year: 2015

Companies participating in the Dutch voluntary agreements on energy efficiency are required to announce the energy-saving projects that they have planned for a specified reporting period in an Energy Efficiency Plan (EEP). All projects with a payback period less than 5 years should be implemented. The aim of this paper is to provide insight into the differences in planning and implementation of energy efficiency investments by companies. This analysis is based on the EEPs submitted in the period 2009–2012. By comparing the characteristics of projects that have been implemented with those that were planned, insight is gained in the adjustments that companies make in their energy efficiency investment plans. We look at external circumstances that could explain these adjustments. Our results show that over 12,000 projects have been planned by the 904 long-term agreement (LTA) participants, about half of which are planned ‘certain’, which means that companies are certain that these projects will be implemented. However, we find a large difference between the planned and realised savings of companies and a huge variation in the payback period of both planned and implemented projects. We do not find a correlation between implementation rate and payback period. This suggests that the payback period in the EEPs was not assessed properly or that other than economic motives are more decisive for investment decisions. Our results can be used to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of voluntary agreements. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht


Abeelen C.,Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland | Harmsen R.,University Utrecht | Worrell E.,University Utrecht
Energy Efficiency | Year: 2015

In 2008, the Dutch voluntary agreements on industrial energy efficiency faced fundamental changes to their monitoring methodology. Where the old method was based on measuring the improvement of energy use per unit of production, the new method focuses on the energy savings from projects implemented by participating companies. Advocates of the new method claim that it gives a better view of the companies’ efforts to save energy, as it shows their deliberate changes in production processes, whereas opponents emphasise that the relation with ‘real’ energy efficiency is lost. By applying the two methods on the same group of companies, the results can be compared and show to what extent the choice of monitoring method affects the key message to policy makers. Of special interest is the relation between energy and production in the period 2008–2012, a period with large fluctuations in the level of production and energy use as a result of the economic crisis. The data show that energy-saving projects made a significant impact on energy use in the analysis period, although their effect is smaller than that of other factors such as fluctuations in production and in the number of participating companies. The old method shows a result for the period 2005–2013 that is less than half of that of the new method, mainly because of a decrease in efficiency during years of decreasing production. The analysis clearly shows that the two methods do not show the same development of energy efficiency improvement and should be presented as such. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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