Restaurant industry signs on to energy-efficiency pact

Summary

Flanders’ catering industry uses a massive amount of electricity, and the sector federation is working with the government to address the issue

Concrete practices

Flemish energy minister Bart Tommelein and catering industry federation Horeca Vlaanderen have reached an agreement on making the sector more energy efficient. The government will work to improve energy use in 1,000 restaurants and bars over the next two years.

The current government of Flanders adopted an ambitious energy policy in 2014. That included the offer to large businesses and whole sectors to help make them more energy efficient.

Flanders counts some 30,000 food and drink businesses – from frietkots to three-star restaurants – which together consume a massive amount of energy. The agreement with Horeca Vlaanderen is the first EBO – energy policy agreement – to be reached with an entire business sector.

“Efficiency is the top priority of Flanders’ energy policy,” Tommelein said. “This agreement allows us to realise concrete energy savings in smaller businesses. Horeca Vlaanderen promises to bring 2,000 businesses to better energy efficiency in two years. This is a win-win situation for everyone.”

Horeca Vlaanderen will provide a member of staff to guide catering businesses towards energy efficiency depending on the needs and abilities of the business. Examples of saving measures include LED lighting, insulation of warm water and heating ducts and covering heating installations with insulating foil.

“Other useful investments can be added during the project,” said Horeca Vlaanderen managing director Danny Van Assche.

Photo: Energy minister Bart Tommelein (left) and Horeca Vlaanderen managing director Danny Van Assche
© Horeca Vlaanderen

Sustainable energy

The five main renewable energy sources in Flanders are biomass, biogas, wind energy, solar energy and water power. The renewable energy sector has grown sharply in recent years, with wind and solar energy production especially on the rise.
Agency - The Flemish Energy Agency is responsible for implementing the government’s sustainable energy policies. Its central tasks are to promote rational energy use and environmentally friendly energy production.
Green energy certificates - One of the principal measures to promote sustainable energy are the certificates the Flemish energy regulator (Vreg) awards for electricity generated by renewable energy sources. Since the regulations were tightened in 2012, investments in renewable energy installations have declined.
Obstacles - According to the Flemish Energy Agency, the main challenges in local renewable energy production are the region’s short coast, limited height differences and direct sunlight, and high population density.
11

new wind turbines created in Flanders in 2013

6 030

million kilowattage of green energy in 2012

6

percentage of green energy used in Flanders in 2012