Wocozon: making social rental housing more sustainable


Every year, the Wocozon Foundation provides several thousand social rental homes throughout the Netherlands with solar panel installations. So far, it has provided 35,000 installations and counting. As a result, it is greatly contributing to making the social real estate of housing corporations more sustainable and to keeping the energy costs of tenants in the social sector affordable. BNG Bank has been supporting Wocozon with suitable financing since 2015, enabling the foundation to grow from a start-up into a company with more than 175 employees. Roland van der Klauw, founder and director of Wocozon: ‘BNG Bank is truly a partner in sustainability.’

The Wocozon Foundation (a contraction of WOningCOrporaties en ZONne-energie, or housing corporations and solar energy) was established in 2012 at the request of Rotterdam corporations. The goal was and is to reduce CO2 emissions and to allow tenants in the social sector to benefit from solar energy. ‘We relieve housing associations of the entire process of installing solar panels on the roofs of social rental housing. We are not motivated by profit. We reinvest the returns in making the social rental sector even more sustainable’, says director Roland van der Klauw. ‘If a corporation is unable to finance a project itself, Wocozon will also arrange this.’

Keeping electricity prices low

Tenants pay a fixed amount per month for the solar energy, which is lower than the electricity costs they previously paid. This will easily save a tenant a few dozen euros a month. In addition, the charges are completely separate from the energy market. As a result, tenants are protected against price increases in electricity.

50 affiliated corporations

50 corporations are now affiliated with Wocozon, with a joint ownership of 300,000 social rental homes. Around 35,000 of these now have solar panels on the roof. The board of the foundation consists of representatives of the affiliated housing corporations. As a result, the corporations have control over the foundation.

BNG Bank is a partner in sustainability

Since its inception, Wocozon has been financed by BNG Bank. Roland van der Klauw: ‘From the outset, BNG Bank has acted as a partner and has facilitated the growth of our foundation with project financing. The good cooperation with BNG Bank has helped to make our growth possible.’

Driven by social impact

BNG Bank is of and for the public sector. Everything we do revolves around creating social impact. We discuss this with our clients. We make choices on that basis. We are not motivated by profit, but by social impact. That is what drives us.

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