History

Eneco’s roots go back to the middle of the nineteenth century. The company we now know as Eneco had a history of joint ventures and mergers before emerging in its current form in 1995. Being an energy generating company, we are at the heart of society and have always had close ties with the government. In fact, our shares are still owned by 55 Dutch municipalities.

Eneco’s history gives it a fundamental place in the history of energy supply in the Netherlands. Safe transmission and provision of energy, use of state-of-the-art technology, a modern, reliable network. For many decades Eneco has put a lot of effort in fulfilling these tasks.

Historical timeline

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2010 - now

2017: Norther offshore wind farm

In 2018, we will start building Norther, which will be the largest offshore wind farm in Belgium. The wind farm’s production will be equivalent to the annual consumption of almost 400,000 households. With this wind farm, we are significantly increasing the supply of sustainable energy. It also constitutes an important step towards achieving the climate targets. The wind farm, located 23 kilometres off the Belgian coast between Ostend and Zeebrugge, will become operational in 2019.

2017: Splitting Eneco, Stedin and Joulz

The Independent Grid Administration Act – colloquially known as the 'Law on Splitting' – stipulates that grid administration activities must be separated from activities linked to the production, supply or marketing of energy, called the ‘group ban’. Eneco Holding NV split its activities on 31 January 2017 and on 1 February 2017 two strong new businesses were launched: sustainable energy company Eneco Group and network company Stedin Group.

Collaboration Eneco & Unilever

2016: Eneco and Unilever

Unilever and Eneco started working together in 2016. From 2017 onward, all Unilever locations will run on Dutch wind energy generated by the Eneco Luchterduinen wind farm. But the objectives of this cooperative relationship extend even further. Ultimately, we want to create a sustainable community together – for example, using ZonneHub from Eneco™. We are using solar panels installed on the roofs of business premises to supply local residents with clean energy.

To Unilever

Eneco & Google

2016: Sustainable Google data centre

In 2016, we started a ten-year collaboration with Google. The 19 wind turbines at the Delfzijl Noord wind farm are now running exclusively for the Google data centre in Eemshaven.

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Highlands & Mearns Wind

2016: Locally generated energy: Highlands & Mearns Wind

Based on the concept 'Everyone living in the neighbourhood benefits', Eneco UK launched a local Highlands & Mearns Wind energy tariff for residents living close to our wind farms in Moy, Lochluichart and Tullo. We are working closely together with Co-operative Energy, the largest cooperative energy supplier in the United Kingdom.

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Collaboration Eneco & NS

2015: Partnership with NS

Every day in the Netherlands, 600,000 rail passengers travel 100% powered by wind energy. Dutch rail operator NS is the first rail company in the world to do this. Trains were already the most sustainable way to travel longer distances. As result of this partnership with NS and other rail operators, all electric trains in the Netherlands run completely climate neutral.

2012:  Introductie van ESCo

2012: Introducing Toon®

Toon® is the revolutionary thermostat that gives customers an insight into their energy consumption and energy costs at all times of the day. When the thermostat was introduced, 30,000 interested customers registered for the product straight away. By late 2016, around 320,000 Toon thermostats were in use.

2011: Start energielevering aan Belgische huishoudens

2011: Start energielevering aan Belgische huishoudens

Eneco betreedt als een challenger de Belgische markt voor levering van elektriciteit en gas aan particuliere klanten. In twee jaar tijd groeide het klantenbestand tot 300.000 contracten.

2011: Eneco acquires Oxxio

In 2011, Eneco acquired Oxxio from the British company Centrica, which meant an expansion of its sustainable supply portfolio by over 426,000 customers, so confirming Eneco’s position as one of the leading Dutch energy suppliers, with around 2.1 million customers. Oxxio has been retained as an independent brand. Its customers can continue to rely on innovative solutions such as smart meters and competitive prices for sustainable electricity and gas.

2011: Green power for all retail customers

Since 1 January 2011, Eneco has supplied all its private and SME customers with green power. To achieve this, Eneco only buys in green power for these customers, or generates this green energy itself. This doubled the number of Eneco’s green power customers at one stroke.

2011: Partnership with the WWF

Eneco Group has been working together with the World Wildlife Fund since November 2011. Eneco was the first energy company in the world to be awarded the title of Climate Saver. In the international Climate Savers Programme, companies make agreements with WWF about reducing their CO2 emissions and about their use and production of clean energy.

We share an important vision with WWF. We have only one planet and we must treat it with care. Since 2012, we have been working on One Planet Thinking (OPT). This project is helping companies to develop a strategy and implement it so that they can operate within the limits of our planet. OPT received so much approval internationally that the project was transferred to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2016.

Read more about our ambitions

2010: Strengthening the sustainability strategy

The takeover of parts of Econcern in 2009 meant a strengthening of Eneco’s sustainability strategy, with a substantial expansion of its international wind, solar energy and biomass operations. Eneco became a major sustainable electricity supplier in Belgium. Thanks to its focus on local production of sustainable energy, it has succeeded in growing into a solid and fast-growing supplier: a top-5 player in the Belgian business market. And Eneco was also achieving its ambitions in the field of sustainable energy production in Germany, France and the UK, as well as being active worldwide in the trade in (sustainable) energy products and CO2 emission rights.

2000 - 2010

2008: Eneco – the most future-oriented energy company

In 2008, Eneco introduced its sustainability strategy, with continuity of energy as its aim and increased sustainability as the only realistic and profitable way forward. Visually, the strategy was supported by a new logo and a new visual identity. In 2008, the production/trade/supply, network management and infrastructure operations were assigned to separate companies, each with its own name and visual identity. Through this reorganisation Stedin (formerly Eneco Network Management) and Joulz (formerly Eneco Infra) were created as core companies.

2000: Towards ENECO Energy

In July 2000, Eneco merged with six regional energy companies, and the combined companies were named ENECO Energy. The name made it immediately clear what the company did for its customers: supplying energy. The cable activities were taken over by other companies. Two other energy companies were added to Eneco through a takeover. The Utrecht energy company REMU was bought and integrated into Eneco in 2003.

1900 - 2000

1995: The foundation of Eneco

The developments in the energy sector were not only concerned with raw materials, extraction and production processes; a lot was also happening on the organisational level. Gas and electricity companies increasingly worked together to achieve greater efficiency.

1960: Gasworks no longer needed

The 1960’s saw the start of a real revolution when large quantities of natural gas were discovered in Slochteren, Groningen. This eventually made the gasworks, where gas was still being distilled from coal, redundant. After all, natural gas came straight out of the ground.

1950: Working together on greater efficiency

After the Second World War a new era dawned, also for the energy companies. The initiative to link power stations together had already been taken a few years earlier, in South Holland. Rotterdam had its own power station, as did Dordrecht, Gouda, Leiden and several other cities in the region. The first high-voltage power lines, both above and below ground, appeared around this time.

1945: District heating for Rotterdam

The Second World War was a turbulent period for the Netherlands. Everything was in short supply. The energy companies, like their counterparts in other sectors, had to ration their resources. Despite the scarcity, local authorities managed to keep up the power supply, more or less. Rotterdam was particularly badly hit; the city’s heart was razed to the ground. Reconstruction work started with the laying of thick-walled pipes for district heating. It must be said that the plans for district heating had been made before the outbreak of war; the plans entailed using excess heat from power stations to heat various districts. Rotterdam was not even the first local authority in the Netherlands to utilize district heating. Utrecht was the first, having started in the nineteen twenties.

1930: Everyone under the shower, and advertisements for gas

At night the demand for electricity was considerably lower than during the day. To spread out the production and consumption more, ‘night rate electricity’ was introduced at a discount price. The use of boilers and geysers was increasingly promoted, and you could even hire the appliances from the municipal energy company. More and more people could take a shower (in their own homes), and that was precisely what the policy-makers intended. The Netherlands would become a little more hygienic as a result! Gas companies were already making advertisements aimed at increasing gas sales in the 1930’s. Cinema advertising was very common in those years.

1800 - 1900

1880: On the way to energy companies

Around 1880, not long after the start of gas production, another form of energy arrived on the scene: electricity. The first city in the Netherlands to experiment with electric power was Rotterdam. The first power station was built in the village of Kinderdijk in 1886. The electricity was delivered to customers via a network. It was a private initiative, but soon these activities were also transferred to the municipality. Slowly the production and distribution of gas and electricity were integrated in single businesses, and true ‘energy companies’ emerged.

1850: Affordable energy for everyone

Quite soon after the gasworks were set up, local municipalities began to involve themselves in their operations. The gas producers became utility companies. The process started by the municipalities ultimately led to everyone being able to use gas at affordable prices.

1800: The earliest forms of energy supply

The history of energy supplies in the Netherlands stretches back to the mid-19th century, when the industrial production of coal gas began. The gas was produced by heating coal in ovens, and was used for street lighting and lighting homes. The gasworks were privately owned, and because of their limited capacity the price of gas was high. Only the well-off could afford gas lighting, and later heating. The less wealthy – the vast majority – had to rely on alternatives such as burning wood.