The temperature in about 200 government office buildings will be lowered by about two degrees in winter and will also reduce cooling in summer, with the aim of reducing dependence on Russian gas and protecting the climate. The objective is to “give an example” to the Dutch, who are also invited to limit their energy consumption through practical advice.
In a campaign launched on April 2, the Cabinet encouraged people to limit their showers to five minutes and set their thermostats lower to save energy. Companies are also “urgently” asked to reduce their energy consumption where possible, according to a statement from the Ministry of Economy and Climate and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.
“Energy conservation has not received the attention it deserves in recent years,” said Minister for Climate and Energy Policy Rob Jetten. “We will now change that.”
In addition, the Cabinet is launching a program with the aim of properly isolating 2.5 million households. “The urgency to save energy and to insulate better is greater than ever,” said Minister of Housing and Regional Planning Hugo de Jonge. “That’s why we’re joining forces and offering the National Insulation Program. That way we can help people quickly and directly insulate their homes.”
Of the 8 million homes in the Netherlands, around 1.5 million have a European energy label E or worse, which means they are not energy efficient. The Cabinet has provided 4 billion euros to insulate these homes by 2030.
The initiative was welcomed with the support of professional organizations and trade unions. According to AD, trade organizations VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland asked for simple solutions like turning down the heating or taking insulation samples, saying: “We ask everyone to see what is possible for them.”
Unions FNV and CNV are also supporting the effort, according to AD. “If you see what is happening in Ukraine and we can help by turning down the heating a bit, that seems like a small effort to me,” said FNV national team leader Remko Mast.