Transition to gas free homes must be quicker: builders

Income from gas was down considerably. Photo:
Going soon? Photo:

The building sector has said that the government plan to phase out gas in homes for heating and cooking must be speeded up. At present the aim is to ensure one in four Dutch homes no longer relies on gas by 2030 and that all homes should be gas free by 2050.

According to builders’ association NVB Bouw, whose members build three quarters of new housing, the process must be speeded up and not a single new home should be fitted with gas connections from next year.

At the moment builders can still opt for gas which the association says is tempting because homes relying on heat pumps for energy are significantly more expensive to build. NVB Bouw advocates a ban on gas and a transition scheme for builders who already have projects in the pipeline.

A ban would create a level playing field for the sector, the association says and will make building gas free homes cheaper in the short term.

‘Some 60,000 homes are built each year in the Netherlands. If all these would all be built using gas free systems we would create leverage and prices would go down quickly,’ NVB Bouw chairman Piet Adema told the AD.

Home owners

According to Adema, the builders are ready to take on the job but the association of home owners Eigen Huis is not happy.

‘A precipitate move to make homes gas free must not happen at the expense of quality,’ spokesman Hans André de la Porte told the paper. De La Porte says homes are now ‘patched up’ with a heat pump or a balanced ventilation unit. ‘But what is needed is a radically different approach, including new blueprints.’

Eigen Huis also said there are not enough experienced technicians to install the equipment. ‘Buyers invest big sums of money in their homes. But what we see is sloppy work and home buyers are angry,’ the AD quotes him as saying.

The government plans to wind down gas production by 2030 in a reaction to the earthquakes caused by years of gas extraction in the province of Groningen. In Amsterdam and Utrecht new housing developments are already gas-free.

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