The final energy consumption in 2015, corrected for temperature variations, was 46,6 Mtoe. The effect of the economic crisis of 2008 is most clearly visible in industry. The consumption has not returned to the level before 2008 or the even higher level of 2000. The transport sector is the largest sector, but it includes international aviation which is relatively large in the Netherlands. Transport also peaked in 2008, and although it has recovered afterwards, the consumption shows a declining trend between 2008 and 2015. Energy consumption in households and services also show a declining trend.

Figure 1: Final energy consumption by sector (normal climate)


Energy efficiency for final consumers, as measured by the so-called technical ODEX has improved by around 1.9% per year since 2000. Smaller gains have been registered for transport (0.9%/year including international aviation), against 2.9%/year for the residential and 2.6% for the industry sectors. The slowdown of efficiency improvements since 2008 in industry may be due to lower investments in new equipment since the crisis.

Figure 2: Technical Energy Efficiency Index (ODEX)


In September 2013, more than 40 parties, including government, have concluded the Energy Agreement (Dutch: Energieakkoord) for sustainable growth. Investments in energy savings should lead to 100 PJ extra savings by 2020 compared to the situation before the Energy Agreement, and bring the yearly energy efficiency improvement until 2020 to a level of 1.5% per year. The extra savings should be realized mainly in dwellings and buildings, but industry, transport and agriculture should also contribute. The Agreement builds on earlier policy formulated in the “Clean and Efficient” (Dutch: Schoon en Zuinig) program. Other important measures are relatively high energy taxes and various voluntary agreements. The EU policies Ecodesign (for minimum efficiency standards for appliances), the building directive EPBD and efficiency standards for cars also play a large role.

Table 1: Sample of cross-cutting measures

MeasuresNEEAP measuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Energy AgreementyesAgreement of 40 parties about energy savings and renewable energy. High impactLink
EIA (Energy Investment Allowance)yesA fiscal measure that offers the possibility for the purchase of designated innovative energy-efficient equipment for an additional allowance on taxable profit. High impactLink
Long-Term Agreements (LTA)yesCovenants with industrial companies, commercial and non-commercial organisations and with railway organisations on improving energy efficiencyHigh impactLink
Source: MURE


The energy used for space heating in households (per m2) has gone steadily down, by 3.2%/year since 2000. A large part is due to the growing share of high efficiency condensing boilers. As shown in figure 4, energy used for water heating has also gone down considerably, due to the same boilers that combine space heating and water heating. Cooking used less energy due to a shift from gas to electrical stoves. Only electricity use increased due to higher ownership of electrical appliances that more than compensated the increased efficiency of electrical appliances.

Figure 3: Energy consumption of space heating per m2 (normal climate)


Figure 4: Energy consumption by end-use per dwelling


The changes in energy consumption in households (1.4 Mtoe from 2000 to 2015, or -13%) can be split into different effects. More dwellings, changes in lifestyles (more electrical appliances and larger homes) all had an increasing effect on energy consumption (4.3 Mtoe). These effects are more than fully compensated however by energy savings which resulted in a decrease the energy consumption by  5 Mtoe.

Figure 5: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in households


Energy consumption per employee has gone down since 2004 by 1.9% per year on average because of more efficient heating and better isolation of buildings. Electricity consumption per employee has gone up since 2000 by 0.8% per year on average due to more use of electronic equipment.

Figure 6: Energy and electricity consumption per employee (normal climate)


A few measures with high impact in the built environment are described in the table below.

Table 2: Sample of policies and measures implemented in the building sector

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Covenant energy savings rent sectorAgreement with housing corporations formalizing the ambition to improve the energy performance of existing and newly built rented housesHigh impactLink
Energy Performance of Buildings EPBDIncreased energy Performance over years in the Building DecreeHigh impactLink
Changes to the Home Evaluation SystemThe energy label of a social house has an impact on the (maximum) rentHigh impact
Source: MURE


The shares of the different types of transport have remained quite stable over time. The largest growth occurred in air transport, which is almost completely international (+2 percent points).

Figure 7: Split of the transport energy consumption by mode


Changes of the shares of different modes of passenger transport have been limited. The traffic by car (measured in passenger-km) decreased from 83 to 82% (in total passenger traffic), rail increased from 10 to 12%, and bus decreased from 6.6 to 6.1%.

Figure 8: Share of transport in passenger traffic


The changes in shares of goods transport are a little larger. Road traffic decreased from 50 to 46% (in total freight traffic), domestic water transport increased from 45 to 47% and rail transport from 5 to 6.4%.

Figure 9: Share of modes in freight traffic


Energy consumption of transport is quite stable since 2000. Different drivers can explain this. On one hand, the increasing traffic of passengers and freight contributed to increase the consumption by 2 Mtoe. This trend is counterbalanced by energy savings (1.7 Mtoe) and modal split (0.3 Mtoe) with a shift from cars to public transport and from road to rail/water for goods.

Figure 10: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in transport


The most important measures for the transport sector are described in the table below.

Table 3: Policies and measures into force in the transport sector

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Other transport taxesMotor Vehicle Tax/Private Car and Motorcycle Tax, CO2 differentiation, lease carsMedium impactLink
Sustainable logisticsSubsidies for fleet owners for purchase of efficient vehiclesMedium impactLink
Source: MURE


The largest industrial consumers are the chemistry (40%), steel (21%) and food industry (18%). The changes in energy consumption have been most prominent in industry. The largest decrease was the result of the economic crisis in 2008. The consumption has not come back to the pre-crisis level. Only the energy consumption of the steel industry has gone up.

Figure 11: Final energy consumption by branch


In the steel industry efficiency became worse in 2009 after improvement since 2000 (1.9%/year until 2007) and because of lower production and equipment utilization due to the crisis. After 2010 efficiency decreased by 1.3%/year because of a shift to higher quality steel which requires more energy per ton. In the paper industry the average efficiency improvement was 2.1%/year.

Figure 12: Unit consumption of energy‐intensive products (toe/t)


Energy consumption of industry has been decreasing by 1.1% (-2.5 Mtoe) mainly due to energy savings (-5.6 Mtoe). Technical improvements that occur in industry are meanwhile partially offset by the growth in activity and structural changes which tend to increase the consumption (2.1 Mtoe). As a result, the decrease of energy consumption is more limited.

Figure 13: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in industry


High impact measures for industry are described in the table below.

Table 4: Policies and measures into force in industry

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Green investment and finance (MIA, VAMIL)This measure makes investing in energy efficiency measures more attractive by allowing accelerated depreciation of investmentsHigh impactLink
Long Term Agreements on energy efficiency with ETS companiesCooperative measures targeting large industryHigh impactLink
Source: MURE