Housing subscription (Woningabonnement)

Name of the local authority: 
Municipality of Deventer
Ownership of investment: 

For people who are unable or unwilling to invest in sustainable measures in their homes, but who want to live sustainably and comfortable, Housing subscription (Woningabonnement®) is an attractive alternative to the normal energy bill. Obviously also investing (own money) or borrowing is possible. A resident can choose the measures and decide what he wants to pay per month. One chooses measures within the existing energy budget remaining the In the municipality of Deventer we came up with a housing subscription scheme.

Through this model, we wanted to make the renovations possible also for citizens who don’t have much money. In order to explain how the housing subscription works, let’s imagine that you have a house and your monthly energy bill right now is 150 EUR. If you come to us to get a housing subscription, you will still pay 150 EUR per month maximum but we will help you to install some energy efficiency improvements in your house and lower your energy bill. We will assess the state of your house and how many people live there, check the energy bills for last two years, and we will advise you what kind of renovations can be done in frame of the housing subscription. Though in the end, you will choose the measures to be installed. What is interesting in this model, you can choose only partial renovations and i.e. install double glazing in the first year and then after 5 years you can decide to change whole windows. Normally, we sign contracts with house owners for 15 years. After installing the energy efficiency measures, you will still pay 150 EUR monthly but only 90 EUR will go to the energy provider and 60 EUR will go to us to pay off the renovations that were made in your house.same, someone else chooses for comfort or additional measures and is ready for more there to pay.

The Housing Subscription (Woningabonnement) was developed with business partners (WDW), Housing company Rentree, KonnecteD, Province Overijssel and the Municipality of Deventer.
Local parties join forces to make Deventer sustainable. To start the "Woningabonnement" for the first inhabitants in 2015, the Municipality of Deventer gives a (higher-risk) loan of € 400,000. On this basis, complementary loans could be attracted. In a collaboration with the company WDW Developing Management (passed in WOAB Overijssel), this entrepreneur has taken the initiative to develop the concept and to allow start of the scale. First for 20 citizens in Deventer (2016), currently 600 properties and thus the basis for further up-scaling. The investment for this volume (€ 6.000,000) is  provided by the Energyfund Overijssel.

An organization (foundation) is being set up which (by franchising) providers entitles put the Housing Subscription (Woningabonnement) in the market. The
consumer determines, based on an analysis of consumption and savings which measures are desirable. The provider delivers the goods and services (at
market rates) provides product warranty and more importantly: give an energy performance guarantee. The provider is closing the contract with the consumer. The provider works with subcontractors who perform the work. In addition to the Foundation there is a financial organization that provides funding providers. According to the national and european financial rules there must be an organization with a banking license. 

This is currently work on progress. In the pilot the energy bill is paid to the Deventer Energy Cooperative. With Kredietbank Salland (a local A-rated bank) is an agreement made at a fixed fee per contract to take over the debt and risk of default. Companies that will implement sustainability measures made agreements about the deployment of people from the labor market. So two goals are achieved. Boosting the local job market, there is a stimulus to the economy of Deventer and we are simultaneously working on becoming an energy-neutral city.
The consumer ultimately decides on the basis of their own pockets concerning housing costs which offer is selected. Furthermore, the consumer decides on more saving measures or one measure of energy generation via a green energy bill equivalent.

With this experience we are being to scale up the project.

Can it be organized just as simple as the mobile phone. The answer is yes.

The government funding is providing risk capital. Thus, in the form of private equity (equity participation comparable or subordinated loans). Subsequently (at normal rates) financing from the market recruited on the basis of this risk capital (ratio 15 to 85%). This leverage is realized. The € 0.4 million of the city of Deventer and additional resources from private parties and Energy Fund Overijssel € 6.0 million withdrawn from the market. In cooperation with several municipalities, this can be increased at a national and European scale, this amount can be increased many times.

To structure the process we established an umbrella foundation. This defined social goals, quality and guarantees to consumers accommodated. Providers may only select the Housing Subscription (Woningabonnement) apply when they accept the rules. For this purpose we did realise a quality mark and energy savingsregulation guaranteed for 15 years.
The road to a comprehensive approach to the Woningabonnement is not yet free of thresholds. Not all barriers are removed. Deventer and Overijssel connot overcome all the challenges alone. Therefore, Housing Subscription (Woningabonnement) is ideally suited for a City Deal in the context of the EU Urban Agenda.

Number of inhabitants: 

Municipality of Deventer

WOAB Overijssel

Province Overijssel


Energy Fund Overijssel

Ministry of Home Affairs

Several municpalities

Several employers` associations

Target audience: 

Pirvate households

Energy savings: 
2016: 20 houses 2017: 40 houses 2018: 200 houses
About 10.000 euro per contract
Timeline and results: 

In 2015 measures are taken by 20 households. The results of the past year are recently presented. The results are very positive.

In december 2016 a request voor financing 600 housing subscriptions (€ 6.000.000) is accepted. So in the beginning of 2017 a start can be made of the 600.

At 6. february 2017 an agreement is signed between the National Government (Minsitry of Home Affairs), the Municipality of Deventer, 8 other cities, Province Overijssel and the national companies of SME's. Then the way is opened for further scaling of the project.

In the Netherlands in 2018 is in the national climate agreement drawn up. Different forms of building-related financing are discussed. The home subscription is one of the attractive opportunities.

In 2019, the national roll-out take place.


The concept of sustainability without finance at once such as the Housing Subscription (Woningabonnement) contains a number of attractive features:

1. Property Subscription is innovative and promising; energy performance guarantee ensures that the energy goes down with the amount promised.
Energy conservation in the built environment for private owners is an important issue, but is also a hard nut to crack. Owners often do not understand the technical possibilities, the supply is fragmented and generally there is no guarantee that products do what manufacturers say they do. Furthermore widely varying opinions are given. Owners have great risks entering an area where they are not familiar with. 
So we need acceleration, including with a strong input from the Dutch Energy Accord. The Housing Subscription is innovative and promising as it provides guarantees that the energy bill actually goes down with the amount promised. It also focuses on the doubters and laggards, who are interested, but do not take action. Different forms of building-related financing are discussed. The home subscription is one of the attractive opportunities.

2. A fixed amount for example via a paid subscription via the Housing Subscription (Woningabonnement), with guarantees of performance and housing costs
A second obstacle for energy efficiency is that individuals must make a prior investment. Own scarce resources should be used for energy or (new) debt to be entering. When the Housing Subscription (Woningabonnement) is not required, instead a fixed amount paid through a subscription for example, with guarantees of performance and housing costs. By fixing measures on the existing energy bill the housing costs for consumers will not rise.

3. Ability to transfer the residence subscription when moving
The concept could be complemented by the ability to transfer the contract to move. Such an object-based funding solution can solve a major barrier to the decision to invest in the house.

4. Property subscription can be extended to other applications, such as health care and energy saving measures for SMEs
The aim is to expand the concept to other applications, such as with care services. Energy saving measures for SMEs are now already pilots of SME energy plan implemented. Through a working group will be taken care of further scaling. The concept also can be part of a broader approach to the private housing stock, especially with the measures already agreed in the Energy Accord and other initiatives.

5. Application for funding lies with Energy Fund Overijssel
There has been a request for funding from the Energy Fund Overijssel treatment "policy-neutral" is tested for feasibility, risk and return. There is experience gained in a banking scrutiny in a market initiative. Currently, verdure scaling up with financing discussed. The European investment bank is involved here.

6. Public-private partnerships
The concept assumes that the market determines the future of the concept is economically feasible or not. This also ensures the public that in the years to reconsider their role. If the market picks up, the government can take steps back. This is what we mean by public-private partnerships.

This concept adhering a number of issues:

  1. Institutional: fits this structure within the existing legislation? If not, what is possible to make it possible? And what are the advantages and disadvantages? And there are alternatives. Key point here: there is credit to the consumer? And consumer protection and the attractiveness of the product to the consumer sufficient?
  2. What is necessary to arrange the financing? Indeed, there is always a need for funding that is later refunded by eg a subscription. What is the role of government in this, both in the short term (start-up) as a regular situation with a market model? The model must be able to exist without government support.

Under construction


Ron Sint Nicolaas

Policy officer sustainable energy

Municipality of  Deventer - The Netherlands

Adres:  Postbus 5000 - 7400 GC Deventer; Grote Kerkhof 1, 7411 KT Deventer

Tel.00310570-693135 I 00316-20499913

Secretary:  Carolien Douma  -  0031570 693942

Further information