- About us
- What are the benefits?
- How do I join?
- Our solar & wind projects
Thank you for your interest in Amsterdam Energie!
You’re probably here because you care about climate change, and want to do something about it. Or maybe you’re just here because you recently moved and need to find a new energy provider – fast!
Either way, our cooperatively owned green energy is an easy (but powerful) way to take meaningful action on climate change, right here in Amsterdam.
Speaking of Amsterdam, our city has ambitious plans to transition 80% of its households to sustainable energy by 2030. But did you know that last year alone, renewables only accounted for 11% of all Dutch energy use? This makes the Netherlands the country that uses the least amount of renewable energy in all of the EU. And to make things worse, the Dutch government continues to disappointingly miss its green energy targets year on year.
So what are a bunch of Amsterdammers to do?
Take matters into our own hands.
You probably haven’t ever heard of an energy co-operative, or maybe you’re just learning about them. But energy co-operatives have been around for decades! Amsterdam Energie was established in December 2011. And we are part of a large, national network of 60+ local energy co-operatives across the country called om | nieuwe energie. Check out their English language page here! The om collective consists of energy co-ops that both produce and supply energy.
om | nieuwe energie handles the business side of things (they send you your bills, help with customer service, etc.) And we at Amsterdam Energie are responsible for harvesting and selling the local energy to you. This means that we own and cultivate our own solar roof and wind projects, right here in Amsterdam, for clean energy that you can use in your own home.
The sustainable energy co-operative world in the Netherlands is more broad and consists of many differing local and national co-ops. The ‘umbrella’ that covers the whole community in this country is called Energie Samen [Energy Together]. They train and teach, lobby politicians, connect local initiatives and perform all other tasks that you would expect from an umbrella-organisation. Check their Dutch site here.
What are the benefits of joining an energy co-operative? (instead of just switching to a “green” energy company)
Joining an energy co-op not only ensures you’re using reliable sources of renewable energy in your home, it also gives you the opportunity to influence how profits are invested back into your local communities. Energy co-ops tend to work together, in all kinds of partnerships that benefit members, local communities and the environment. The communal power of the co-operative speeds up how governments are responding to the climate crisis. There are three main benefits:
- You decide where the profits go. When you join Amsterdam Energie, you’re not just a “member” or a “customer”, you’re an owner. Unlike the big energy companies in the Netherlands, we don’t have investors or shareholders and we do not sell stock. Instead, Amsterdam Energie is governed by a democratically elected board where, every year, a General Assembly Meeting is held that allows all member-owners the opportunity to submit proposals and vote on what to do with our profits. That could be anything from investing in a new wind project or putting the money back into our local communities.
- Our green energy is actually green. Big energy companies in the Netherlands have a tendency to mislead customers about where their “green” energy is coming from. According to the Consumentenbond, the consumer organization here in the Netherlands, about 65 % of the energy sold by these large companies is not green. At Amsterdam Energie, transparency is a key pillar to how we operate. Every year, we publish annual reports. And we try our best to be honest about where we need to make compromises. For example, right now we do not have the ability to provide you with a sustainable gas option when we service your gas.
- A chance to build long-term political bargaining power. Profit-driven energy companies in the Netherlands frequently lobby the government to implement policies that will benefit their shareholders. Because Amsterdam Energie is connected to larger national collectives of co-operatives, this opens the door for us to create a political lobbying network – both with the Dutch government and the EU – that could ensure the needs of regular people, not just shareholders, are represented in our government policies. Want to keep getting tax breaks and subsidies for converting to clean energy? You now have a chance to influence that by joining our network.
And last but not least, your involvement as a member-owner can be what you want it to be. You can do nothing and keep paying your energy bill as if we’re any old energy provider. Or, you can help spread the word to other Amsterdammers by joining us at local events. You can submit proposals for the annual meeting. You can get involved in our wind and solar projects.
We welcome (and need!) member-owners with all backgrounds, skills, and levels of interest.
Who are we?
Amsterdam Energie is run by director and founder Rolf Steenwinkel and campaigner Daphne Meijer. See who’s who here. If you want to know more or have other queries, please do not hesitate to send us an email, at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you drop us a line with your feedback, we will learn how to better engage with our non-Dutch-speaking customers. We rent shared office space at Papaverweg 48 in Amsterdam Noord.
Our address is: Amsterdam Energie, Papaverweg 48, 1032 KJ Amsterdam
Follow us on Facebook for our news. We are also on Twitter and Instagram.
I’m sold! How do I join Amsterdam Energie?
Anyone in Amsterdam can switch to Amsterdam Energie! It’s a quick and easy process. There are two main ways you can do it:
- Are you renting or are you a homeowner looking to quickly switch to our green energy sources? Click here to sign up through our national collective, om | nieuwe energie. You may want to check their information in English first, which you find here.
- You will be asked to complete a 5-step questionnaire about the location & size of your house to help estimate your monthly bill
- From there, you can pick the type of contract you would like. Options are a fixed price with a commitment of 1-3 years, or a variable price that you can cancel anytime
- Need to cancel with your old energy provider? om | nieuwe energie will take care of that. If you still have some months on your current contract, your new contact with us will start when the old one expires. If you’re moving to a completely new address, you will have to take care of cancelling with your old provider.
- And that’s it! Look out for our email newsletters (now also in English) to learn about how to get involved with Amsterdam Energie now that you’re a member-owner
- If during this process you have any queries about om | nieuwe energie, you may give them a call at 020-3377038. Or send your questions to email@example.com.
- You can also check out the Dutch Consumers’ Association Consumentenbond website to get an independent look at energy providers in the Netherlands and how they compare on prices and sustainability.
- Are you a homeowner looking to install solar panels on your rooftop through your VVE/Association? Click here to fill in our contact form & learn more about the process.
Get € 20 off your next bill
If you are happy with the services provided by Amsterdam Energie and om | nieuwe energie, spread the word to your friends and neighbours and we’ll give you € 20 off. For this, you’ll need your ‘ambassadeurscode’, which is a number on your energy bill. Due to legal constraints, you cannot apply in the name of someone else, but if your friends/family members/neighbours fill in your code on their application form, then you will receive a € 20 discount on your next bill. If you want to spend that money on something sustainable, you can notify Om | Nieuwe Energie to use the € 20 to plant a tree in their food forest in the Noordoostpolder near Dronten. You can notify them by having your friends add “boom” (which means tree in Dutch), in addition to the code, when they sign up. You can also find all of this information on the om | Nieuwe Energie website, where they offer additional services, like a ‘laadpaal’, a charging station, for your electric car.
Our Solar & Wind Projects
Amsterdam Energy currently harvests and sells green energy via the solar panels we have installed on roofs here in Amsterdam. Soon, we also hope to produce and offer energy from our own wind turbines. Below is some more information on our current solar and wind projects.
Since 2016, we have given our members the opportunity to participate in the energy transition by investing in the production of seven solar roofs here in Amsterdam.
The Dutch government has recently changed the law that governs the financial arrangements for owners of solar panels. Previously, owners of solar panels from participatory solar projects like ours received a tax deduction for installing them. This changed, however, on April 1, 2021. Now, newly developed solar projects are instead eligible for a governmental subsidy that will cover the costs of purchasing and installing the panels.
Because of this change, in June of last year, our General Assembly voted to enter into a new solar co-operative, Onze Zon Amsterdam [Our Sun Amsterdam], which offers a different business model for installing the panels. By entering into this new co-operative, we can now offer participation in our solar projects the panels at a lesser cost – € 50 per panel – for the year of 2021. This should allow for more people to join in on the project. With the cost of implementation now being lower, the profits should also be higher. We are participating in Onze Zon Amsterdam together with our partner De Zonnefabriek [The Solar Factory], who installs our solar roofs. Read more about Onze Zon Amsterdam here.
We have laid panels to two roofs under the aegis of Onze Zon Amsterdam, at Marcantilaan and at Gillis van Ledenberchstraat. But as of the summer of 2022, the board of Amsterdam Energie has decided to review the co-operation with Onze Zon.
In future, we hope to develop many more roofs. We put out a call for participants to our members, in our newsletter and through direct mail. But we will also post the details of future developments here, in English.
Amsterdam Energie has been involved with Amsterdam Wind for a couple of years now. Amsterdam Wind is a collective of four sustainable energy co-operatives. Three primarily have members in and around Amsterdam, the fourth is a national co-operative. The four co-operatives are collaborating to develop wind energy on Amsterdam soil, in and near the city. Amsterdam Wind collaborates with NDSM Energie, a co-operative of local businesses in and around the NDSM, and Cornelis Douwesterrein industrial zones in the Northwestern part of Amsterdam. Amsterdam Wind and NDSM Energie are equal partners.
Our shared objective is to build and provide energy from a maximum of five wind turbines in the Noorder IJplas area and the adjacent Cornelis Douwesterrein. We are pursuing this objective within the framework of national and local rulings on the development of sustainable energy projects by local co-operatives.This year, we are currently involved in an extensive participation program with residents of the area and adjacent neighbourhoods.
At some point in the future, we plan to open up an opportunity to our members to participate financially by investing in the building of the turbines. If and when we succeed, part of the proceeds will go to projects that benefit the local community.
Local wind politics
If you follow Amsterdam local politics at all, you may have noticed a large push-back from residents against the plans to build wind turbines at several locations in and around the city.
The wind projects are the result of the larger political objectives included in the 2019, ‘het Klimaatakkoord’, which is an agreement on climate measures made between many national organisations representing the government, business, labour and environmental groups. As a result of this, one of the concrete plans that was to be implemented as soon as possible was the RES, the Regionale Energie Strategie [Regional Energy Strategy]. The country was divided in 30 regions, where each had to come up with a regional strategy to switch to sustainable energy sources by 2030, and subsequently by 2040. Each municipality had to put in a ‘bid’ with detailed plans, no later than at the end of 2021.
Amsterdam published its plan in the autumn of 2020. Part of the Amsterdam bid was the ambition to erect 17 wind turbines in and around the city. Seven areas were singled out for further research, to see if they could become possible locations for turbines. Many residents disagreed with this plan and took to the streets to protest.
In the end, the Amsterdam bid to the RES was accepted by the city council, with the compromise that a period of ‘reflection’ would be built into the plans for the development of wind energy that would allow for additional studies into the side-effects of wind turbines on public health. This period of reflection has concluded with the establishment of a city-wide advisary council, to advise the city council.
What does this mean for us?
The area of Noorder IJplas and Cornelis Douwesterrein was also mentioned in the Amsterdam bid. This area differs from the others in that, already in 2012, it was formally designated a possible location for wind turbines. At the time, NDSM Energie and the residents’ group Onze Amsterdam Noord Energie, one of the current co-operatives active in Amsterdam Wind, already developed ideas for wind energy at that location. The city went along, but the province (Noord-Holland) refused to give the go-ahead. The province blocked development until 2019, when a new political coalition took over.