Advice on a platform for making homes sustainable

Together with Radicand Economics

The Dutch Ministry of the Interior asked for advice on a platform for making homes sustainable.

We organised a series of workshops exploring options for the government to develop (or stimulate) a platform that can orchestrate the market for home sustainability. In addition, we explored various options for government involvement. For example, we examined a so-called wholesale-only model. In such model, the government invests in data lakes and content pools, on top of which private platforms can emerge. We also explored options for the government to provide an integrated platform fully owned and controlled by the government. Finally, we explored various options in between.


It is challenging for homeowners to make their homes more sustainable because they encounter various obstacles during this journey. These obstacles range from searching for relevant information, finding a suitable installer, to getting finances and subsidies. Homeowners may drop out before they have completed their journey. In the end, these market frictions may prevent the Dutch government from realising its environmental sustainability objectives.

A platform solution?

A digital platform can bring the various components of the required information together. By doing so, it can validate information where necessary and combine it. This allows a homeowner to make the entire customer journey on a single platform without being sent from pillar to post. Moreover, he does not have to enter the same data over and over, and he does not have to search through all kinds of contradictory information. This resolves many of the above mentioned hurdles and frictions.

Mapping the options

Key functionalities that contribute to resolving the above frictions are tools and information that are validated by a trusted party such as the government. For example, a validated calculation tool takes away uncertainties about the level of investments and the return on those investments. Furthermore, homeowners are much more likely to make such investments when they can rely on validated information about what measures work for them and what not. In addition, they should be informed about energy plans by local governments and about the availability of and access to subsidies and financing. Ideally these functionalities are available through a one-stop-shop.

Currently, other initiatives take care of the role that the (hypothetical) platform would play, albeit in an incomplete way. It is not the intention of the government to disrupt the existing value chain. The idea is that the government facilitates these initiatives, e.g. by offering them content components and access to data. We also explored the pros and cons of the government developing its own platform on top of these components. This options of course entails a risk of crowding out private initiatives.


The government was able to make informed choices about how to get the market for sustainable homes going by means of a platform. These insights formed a key input for a subsequent design sprint organised by Ngrane, the results of which have been integrated into procurement documents.


Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Affairs


A series of workshops on i) platform-based business models and ii) on the division of responsibilities between government and market. The outputs of the workshops were consolidated in concise report.


The government was able to make an informed decision on a platform strategy and take a next step in the form of a design sprint organised by Ngrane,


A website that has further developed on the basis of our project is Verbeter-je-huis

  • Nicolai van Gorp
  • Paul de Bijl
  • David van Delden