An energy expedition: experiences of a Dutch collective of house owners aiming for energy neutrality

Mieke Oostra, Laura Been

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic

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The municipality of Apeldoorn had polled the interest among its private home-owners to turn their homes energy neutral. Based on the enthusiastic response, Apeldoorn saw the launch of the Energy Apeldoorn (#ENEXAP) in 2011. Its goal was to convert to it technically and financially possible for privately owned homes to be refurbished and to energy neutral, taking the residential needs and wishes from occupants as the starting point. The project was called an Expedition, because although the goal was clear, the road to get there wasn’t. The Expedition team comprised businesses, civil-society organisations, the local university of applied sciences, the municipality of Apeldoorn, and of course, residents in a central role. The project was supported by Platform31, as part of the Dutch government’s Energy Leap programme. The #ENEXAP involved 38 homes, spread out through Apeldoorn and surrounding villages. Even though the houses were very diverse, the group of residents was quite similar: mostly middle- aged, affluent people who highly value the environment and sustainability. An important aspect of the project was the independent and active role residents played. In collaboration with businesses and professionals, through meetings, excursions, workshops and by filling in a step- by-step plan on the website, the residents gathered information about their personal situation, the energy performance of their home and the possibilities available for them to save and generate energy themselves. Businesses were encouraged to develop an integrated approach for home-owners, and consortia were set up by businesses to develop the strategy, products and services needed to meet this demand. On top of making minimal twenty from the thirty-eight houses in the project energy neutral, the ultimate goal was to boost the local demand for energy- neutral refurbishment and encourage an appropriate supply of services, opening up the (local) market for energy neutral refurbishment. This paper will reflect on the outcomes of this collective in the period 2011-2015.
Original languageDutch
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • energy
  • households

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