In the article ‘Housing cooperative Woonbedrijf gets greener‘ I talked about the new green energy used by housing cooperative Woonbedrijf for public lightning and collective heating. I did however had several questions about the energy supplied and how green it is.
After several exchanges with Woonbedrijf, and their supplier WoonEnergie, I have the answers to my questions:
Does the green electricity come from 100% renewable resources?
This answer was a definite yes from WoonEnergie. They use hydropower for 95,2 %, wind for 4,7 % and biomass for 0,1 % of the electricity they deliver under their green label.
Is the green electricity guaranteed green?
What I didn’t know when I asked this question was that a law had been passed in my country that mandates that companies must deliver the kind of electricity they promise. Which was pointed out to me by WoonEnergie when I asked this question.
So if WoonEnergie claims they use the electricity mix mentioned above, they are required by law to deliver this mix. So if they don’t have enough power for their customers they must buy electricity that comes from renewable resources.
How is the natural gas used for the collective heating green?
Via WoonEnergie I found out that the natural gas supplies is standard uncompensated natural gas. And they never claimed that they compensated for the natural gas, or that it is green in any other way.
This was an textual inconsistency in the article written by Woonbedrijf. So that it looked in the text that this was the case.
So all the electricity used for public lighting and other uses around and in the public areas for buildings maintained by Woonbedrijf come from 100% renewable resources. I asked Woonbedrijf how much green electricity they now use so that I could calculate how much carbon emissions they are saving. However the employee I asked said he didn’t have that information and further enquiries for this information went unanswered. A shame as this would give them some free publicity.
I commend Woonbedrijf for listening to their tenants to use electricity from renewable resources. However for public heating they use natural gas, so improvements can still be made. Like using super efficient boilers, using solar boilers or maybe even by using geothermal heat pumps (which would be great addition to high rises with a large parking space next to it).
So there is still a great deal that can be done to make Woonbedrijf greener, however they did make a large step towards making their buildings green.