energy conservation: step one of sustainability

The trias energetica said it as early as 1979: sustainability (of buildings) begins with economical use of energy. The less energy we need, the less renewable energy we need to generate. That's why Rebel is committed to using energy efficiently.


Understanding energy conservation and costs

It is important to understand energy conservation to determine whether conservation measures are effective in terms of climate gains and will pay for themselves in an acceptable amount of time. Rebel advises municipalities, companies and organizations on effective energy conservation measures and the associated costs and business case.

For example, Rebel has calculated for the municipality of Rotterdam the impact of their policy instruments (including sustainability coaches, vouchers and the sustainability store) on energy conservation, CO2 reduction and energy costs. This analysis allows the municipality to deploy its policy instruments even more effectively.

Encouraging households and businesses to conserve

With rising energy costs, the business case for insulation is becoming increasingly favorable – a real no-brainer. Yet many households and businesses are still not taking sufficient action to make their environment more sustainable. Indeed, in addition to costs, many other (behavioral) barriers stand in the way of sustainability.

For example, for households, it is often the case that they do not know where to start with sustainability: which measure is most suitable, which subsidies apply and is it best to implement it now or in the future, when the heating solution of their neighborhood is known? Rebel charts which behavioral factors play a role in sustainability choices and how governments can design policy instruments in such a way that they motivate households to become more sustainable.

Entrepreneurs may lack knowledge and/or access to finance. Rebel advises governments and companies on how to assist entrepreneurs in this sustainability effort. By looking at barriers that cause them to delay action and how these can be overcome. Or by improving access to (low-cost) financing through an energy fund. Rebel has helped establish energy funds throughout the Netherlands, including Drenthe, Friesland, Utrecht and Overijssel.

Sustainability measures

Countering energy poverty

More and more people and businesses are struggling to pay their energy bills. This leads to arrears or health problems by drastically reducing energy consumption. Rebel looks for ways in which governments and organizations can reduce energy poverty on a long-term basis: not short-term payment assistance, but long-term sustainability measures.

For the municipality of Molenlanden, for example, Rebel assisted in setting up an energy savings subscription: a subscription that, in exchange for a monthly payment (equal to the energy costs saved), guides homeowners from A to Z in making their homes more sustainable. This allows homeowners to drastically improve sustainability, lower their bills, increase comfort and do so at no extra cost.


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