City-zen’s All-Electric Track: increasing knowledge and building a network across social housing corporations in Amsterdam
In the Netherlands, natural gas in the building environment will be phased out by 2050. Stakeholders, including the social housing corporations, are faced with an enormous challenge: the conversion from a central-organized natural gas-based energy system to an energy system in which dwellings can be heated without natural gas and clean energy is used for all residential purposes. In order to support the transition, multiple solutions will come into play, including all-electric.
Based on the outcomes of interviews with housing corporations and the municipality of Amsterdam, it was clear that there is a need for more insight into all-electric solutions as an option for heating houses. The current knowledge base at the housing corporations lacks the ability to properly assess all-electric.
Knowledge and activation track
Within this context, the Amsterdam Economic Board together with the Amsterdam Federation of Housing Corporations (AFWC) developed a knowledge and activation track around ‘all-electric’, as part of the European City-zen project. The objectives were to increase knowledge and awareness of all-electric topics with professionals from different housing corporations in Amsterdam, to build a network across social housing corporations and to start with all-electric implementation in a neighbourhood.
To realise these goals, knowledge and mobilisation courses were developed: building knowledge through master classes and in-depth sessions with topics based on an assessment of current understanding of all-electric. And the mobilisation course focussing on the conditions for scaling up all-electric. Sharing knowledge and experiences within and between social housing corporations was a key focus during the courses. In a final meeting with directors of the social housing corporations, the findings of both courses were discussed. The target audience consisted of representatives of various domains within social housing corporations.
Topics in the master classes and in-depth sessions included: a common language regarding all-electric, business case & calculation, performance guarantee, procuring & contracting, quality assurance, process and legislation. The mobilisation course focused on a case submitted by the participants: district heating vs all-electric for ‘De Banne Noord’. In order to be able to make a motivated decision for ‘De Banne Noord’, the following aspects where taken into account: composition of the district, organization, technique and economy. A method to calculate the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) was developed as way to support decision making.
Barriers and recommendations
During the course of the track a number of barriers have been identified, including:
- Lack of social acceptance and user behaviour
- Relatively large investment by the building owner
- Lack of transparency of actual costs and benefits
- Availability of integral all-electric renovation systems with functional performance guarantees
- Uncertainty about future policy adjustments
The following recommendations were derived from the courses:
- In future it’s important that social housing corporations together with the municipality continue to develop social awareness campaigns as well as knowledge dissemination and implementation of interdisciplinary approaches.
- Furthermore social housing corporations should jointly purchase all-electric renovations which implies cost reduction and could accelerate implementation of all-electric systems.
- The municipality and national government will need to create the right conditions like financial schemes for fair distribution of costs and benefits as well as predictable policy.
- This learning and mobilisation track was a first step to increase all-electric knowledge and awareness with people from different housing corporations in Amsterdam and, through this, build a network. Our recommendation is for social housing corporations in Amsterdam to continue to fuel this network with real cases for sharing and discussion.
Report and back-ground materials
Please download the report and materials via the links below. The report contains the approach and results of the All-Electric track (content is in English), the other links includes presentations and tools (content is in Dutch) used during the knowledge and mobilization courses. This information could be highly applicable to other social housing corporations in the Netherlands, Europe or any other group of companies working on all-electric.