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"The Dutch Long-Term Agreements on Energy Efficiency (LTAs) -first generation of LTAs in period 1989-2000"
 

As response to new ideas on co-operative environmental management LTAs were introduced in the early nineties. Since the introduction of the Second Memorandum on Energy Conservation in 1993 the Dutch LTAs have become the main policy instrument for industrial energy conservation and industrial CO2-emission reduction. The CO2-emission reduction objective for the total economy, aims at 3-5% reduction in 2000 compared with 1989. The objective of the agreements is to improve industrial energy efficiency without a negative effect on economic growth or the competitiveness of Dutch trade and industry. The LTA programme is supported by several additional policy measures, like monitoring, subsidy schemes, tax reduction and information services. The executive responsibility of the LTA programme has been delegated to the Dutch energy agency Novem, now SenterNovem. SenterNovem has several stimulating and facilitating tasks as well as verifying responsibilities in the LTA programme.

By signing an LTA, the industrial branches agree to achieve an energyefficiency improvement of, e.g. 20% in year 2000 compared with the level in 1989. Firms that join the sectoral LTA should improve energy efficiency as far as practically and economically achievable to contribute to the achievement of the collective target. In return, the government agrees not to introduce new regulations on energy conservation and it gives financial support to the LTA programme.

The process leading to the conclusion of the sector LTAs begins with strategic talks between the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the branch association and SenterNovem. An exploratory survey is conducted to investigate the organizational and technical options for energy conservation in the sector. The negotiations of the agreement mainly deal with the formulation of the obligations and commitments of parties involved . When the LTA is signed, 80% of the member firms have to declare their individual commitment by a letter of intent, which includes the obligation to prepare an Energy Conservation Plan, which contains the firm's individual strategy to energy conservation. After SenterNovem's approval and the issuance of an environmental permit the firm can start implementing its plans. The firm must report the results to SenterNovem and/or the branch association annually. SenterNovem verifies the sector results as well as the individual firm's results. In case of non-compliance an LTA can also be terminated. Individual firms can be excluded from the LTA if they fail to provide an energy conservation plan and annual monitoring results. The firms will be subjected to the existing regulation, i.e. the environmental permit.

In the first generation of LTAs 29 industrial LTAs have been concluded. The LTAs cover about 90% of the total industrial energy consumption in the Netherlands . Over the LTA period 1989 upto and including 2000, the average energy efficiency improvement of the 29 industrial LTAs amounted to 22.3% compared with the 1989 level.

 

 

 
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