Most households practise energy conservation

Most Dutch people who say they care about the environment also display energy-conscious behaviour. They turn on the dishwasher or washing machine only when it has a full load, for example. However, this green behaviour is not motivated solely by environmental concerns but even more by cost considerations. This is evident from new figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) as part of the survey ‘Perceptions 2017’.
In the survey Perceptions 2017, residents of the Netherlands are asked how they feel about developments taking place in society and about their actual behaviour. The survey includes several questions related to environment-conscious behaviour. It includes data obtained from altogether 3,339 respondents aged 18 years and over.

Only run a full machine

Almost 90 percent say they are conscious of their energy use in and around the house. People who indicate they are energy-conscious in their behaviour are more likely to unplug the charger as soon as the phone is fully charged. They will also be more inclined to pull on a sweater before turning the heating up, turn off lights in empty rooms and only turn on the washing machine or dishwasher with a full load.
At the same time, those who say they are less energy-conscious pay attention to their energy use as well. The overwhelming majority also turn off lights in empty rooms, close windows and doors when the heater is on and only run the washing machine or dishwasher when they have a full load. However, this sort of behaviour is slightly more prevalent among the energy-conscious group.

Energy-consciousness around the house, 2017
 Energy-consciousNot energy-conscious
Unplug charger7447
Pull on sweater6343
Turn off lights9784
Close the door9486
Load washing machine until full9478
Load dishwasher until full9787

Women and elderly people most energy-conscious

Women in particular will back their words with actions: 78 percent of the women are quick to disconnect electronic devices, compared to 71 percent of the men. In addition, 67 percent of the women will dress more warmly before turning the heating up as against 60 percent of the men. Elderly people are quick to disconnect their devices but also turn up the heating more quickly.

Unplugging the charger, 2017
 AlwaysFrequentlySometimesNever
75 yrs or older67.915.68.57.9
65 to 74 yrs59.322.912.55.3
55 to 65 yrs64.516.211.97.5
45 to 54 yrs53.722.713.310.3
35 to 44 yrs50.823.815.79.7
25 to 34 yrs37.723.716.522.1
18 to 24 yrs36.523.522.917.1
Women56.820.913.58.8
Men49.22215.313.6
Total53.121.414.411.1

Environment-conscious vs. cost-conscious

What drives people who say they are energy-conscious? A large majority are energy-conscious due to cost considerations. Half of them unplug the charger as soon as their phone or tablet is fully charged in order to save costs. Less than one-third do so because it is better for the environment, and over one-fifth do so for other reasons. Two-thirds of the population are motivated by costs rather than the environment when turning off lights and closing windows and doors when the heating is on in a room. Loading the washing machine and dishwasher to full capacity is also based on cost-consciousness most of the time.

Reasons for energy-conscious behaviour, 2017
 Mainly to save costsMainly for the environmentFor other reasons
Unplug charger483022
Pull on sweater592516
Turn off lights642511
Close the door682111
Load washing machine until full602912
Load dishwasher until full612910