Want to save energy? Hire an energy adviser
- Margot Bogers
- Step-by-step plan
- 15 May 2023
- Edited 10 Jan 2023
- 2 min
- Managing and growing
There are several options available if you want to make your company more sustainable. You can insulate your building, install a heat pump, or switch to electric vehicles. Before you start making your business operations more sustainable, it is useful to know which measures will save the most money and CO2 emissions in your specific situation. An energy adviser can help you with this.
How does an energy adviser help?
You will go through several steps when you start working on being more sustainable: from research to implementation. The energy adviser can help with some or all of the steps. You can use one adviser for the entire process, or consult different advisers for the various steps.
Example: Liesbeth engages an energy consultant for her wholesale trade of fruit and vegetables. Her business property has high energy consumption. Because of the rising energy prices, she wants to do something about it. An advisory report shows that Liesbeth can save on energy costs by having the building insulated. The energy adviser helps her to request quotations and supervises the insulation of the building.
Step 1. Research
Find a reliable energy adviser (in Dutch) and request an energy survey. Michiel Steerneman of FedEc, the trade association for energy consultants, explains: “The consultant walks through your building and considers what is consuming the most energy. Based on this, you will receive a tailor-made energy report, which shows which measures you can take. This report also states what each measure costs and how much you can save.” These can be energy-saving measures for your business premises, such as installing triple glazing and solar panels. Or even measures for your business operations, such as switching to electric delivery vans or equipment that is more energy efficient.
Example: Liesbeth's energy adviser inspects her wholesale business and prepares an energy report. This shows that she can save a lot of energy by insulating and installing triple glazing.
Step 2. Action plan and financing
Based on the report, decide which actions you want to take. Once you decide, you get started on a financing plan. The government encourages energy and CO2 saving measures with subsidies and tax benefits. For example, there is a subsidy for a heat pump and a tax advantage for energy-efficient equipment. By using these schemes smartly, you can save a lot of money. If you are unfamiliar with all the possibilities, it can be difficult to gain as many advantages as possible. The energy adviser is aware of the various schemes and helps you to use them to your advantage.
Example: Liesbeth decides to completely insulate the building, but not to install triple glazing. She does not have the financial means to implement both proposals, and insulation provides greater savings. The energy adviser recommends using both the Energy Investment Allowance and the Small-Scale Investment Allowance, which gives her additional benefits.
Step 3. Choose services and/or material
Once the financing is complete, you can request quotes for the materials and/or services needed to implement the measures. The energy adviser can help you with requesting quotes, and assessing and comparing them.
Example: Liesbeth has the energy adviser request a number of quotes. Together they look at which offer best suits Liesbeth's wishes and budget.
Step 4. Action
Have the energy-saving measures carried out. The energy adviser can supervise the implementation. Take into account possible long waiting times due to high demand and a shortage of installers (in Dutch).
Example: Liesbeth’s business premises are insulated. The energy adviser monitors that the building is insulated as agreed with the installing company.
Subsidy for an energy adviser
The government encourages saving energy. To help entrepreneurs become more sustainable, there is the subsidy scheme for improving sustainability of SMEs (Subsidieregeling Verduurzaming MKB, SVM, in Dutch). If your business premises consume less than 50,000 kWh of electricity or 25,000 m3 of natural gas, you can apply for SVM. This reimburses 80% of the costs for an energy consultant, with a maximum limit of €2,500.
In 2023, the government will broaden the energy-saving obligation. In addition, your business premises must have energy label C from 1 January 2023.
Sometimes, aside from the SVM-scheme you can also use financial help offered by your municipality or province. For example when you do business in Amsterdam (in Dutch), Hilversum (in Dutch), Haarlem (in Dutch), Helmond (in Dutch), Rotterdam (in Dutch), Utrecht (in Dutch), Den Haag (in Dutch), Haarlemmermeer (in Dutch) or Drenthe (in Dutch). Ask your municipality for possibilities.