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According to agreements that have been made at the European level, all seven million homes in the Netherlands have to be zero-energy by 2050. This means that they generate at least as much energy as they consume. This can be accomplished by achieving energy savings and generating sustainable energy.
To speed up the growth in the sustainability of the housing stock, Rabobank helped establish the Dutch National Energy Savings Fund, which lets homeowners take out a loan at an attractive interest rate, which they can then use to make their home more energy-efficient.
Smart Refurbishment meetings
Local Rabobanks are also organising Smart Refurbishment meetings, where retail customers can meet experts in the field of energy saving and the generation of sustainable energy, as well as contractors and Rabobank advisors. This is a great example of what ‘being invested in each other’ is all about: private individuals get to make their homes more sustainable and more comfortable which, in turn, creates new opportunities for businesses, with Rabobank bringing everyone together, providing expertise, networking and financing.
Local energy cooperatives
Citizens are taking control of their own energy supply by working together locally. This ranges from encouraging different energy-saving ideas to the joint purchasing of energy. Local Rabobanks are supporting these initiatives by offering their expertise in establishing cooperatives and developing plans, along with facilities, financial solutions and bringing people together. Rabobank is also doing this at the national level in the Netherlands. For example, together with DE Unie (the ‘Sustainable Energy Union’), we are looking at ways for the energy supply platform to be financed by local cooperatives. DE Unie is a 'shared service centre' for local sustainable-energy initiatives and a cooperative run by and for members.