It’s dominating world headlines every day. News reports speak of little else. Unaffordable energy bills, the eruption of an ‘energy war’, skyrocketing inflation and cost of living, and to top it off: increasing drought. Also in the Netherlands. Many households and business owners are or will be struggling.
The ‘15%GasTerug’ action network – under the auspices of the Amsterdam Economic Board, Sustainability Council Amsterdam, City of Amsterdam, Green Business Club, Metropoolregio Amsterdam and 02025 – has set a goal of structurally saving 15 percent on gas by the end of 2022.
C40 Cities honoured the 15% GasTerug initiative on Oct. 19, 2022, with a Bloomberg Philanthropies Award in the category for initiatives focused on direct action to address the climate crisis. This prestigious, international award gives wings to the action network.
Together with a growing network of more than 300 people, we want to ensure that all can participate, by showing solidarity, learning from each other and helping each other. With and for industry, residents, business owners and employees. There are three things you can do right now:
1. Become an Energy Coach
Do you want to encourage people in your organisation to help others be more energy conscious and thus lower energy bills? This is possible as an energy coach of !WOON. Volunteers in for example Amsterdam, Haarlem and Zaanstad visit people’s homes as an energy coach by appointment. You receive extensive training, materials and guidance. For more information visit www.wooninfo.nl/energiecoach-worden (website in Dutch).
Energy coaches are also active in other municipalities in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area and you can join them. This is organised by several organisations. Some of these work with volunteers and others go door-to-door with paid staff. For more information, check your municipality’s website.
2. Join in with your own company or office
As a business, you can already make a significant contribution, by following the 6 simple steps at the ‘Zet ook de knop om’ website (in Dutch). Did you know that all companies in the Zuidas (Amsterdam business district) now turn off the lights at night? Show and tell what your organisation is doing to save energy. Share our campaign and your actions via social media and your websites.
3. Save at home, too
Encourage and support people in your organisation by paying attention to home energy-saving measures. These 4 home energy-saving tips are a good starting point. You can also spotlight people in your organisation who are actively saving energy at home and/or in the office.
Have you implemented a way to save energy that could inspire others? Let us know (email firstname.lastname@example.org). This way, we inspire others to save as well.
Larger organisations are required to implement measures that are certain to be recoverable within 5 years. There are also helpful tools for smaller organisations. See, for example, Tussen Kolen & Parijs (urgenda.nl).