Pioneering towns go gas free but need more money from government


Pioneering towns running pilot schemes for gas free homes want more financial and practical help from the government, the Volkskrant reported on Thursday.

The towns of Utrecht and Woerden have already come into conflict with private homeowners who have been told to make their homes gas free by 2030 and who are facing considerable costs. According to sustainable energy advisor Milieu Centraal, the transition could set them back up to €30,000 each.

In the run-up to the transition the government has earmarked €90m for pioneering local authorities, but this is not enough, local councillors say.

‘We need more money and practical help’, the paper quotes Wageningen alderman Lara de Brito as saying. ‘We have been given a task that no one knows how to achieve; we’re the first and everyone is looking to us for solutions.’

Woerden alderman Hans Haring said alternative energy adjustments such as heat pumps do not yet pay for themselves. ‘That means home owners are reluctant. And there are people who simply don’t have the money to pay for them.’

In the Netherlands some 7.2 million homes will have to be adapted by 2050, the government’s cut-off point for the use of gas. Thirty-one local councils currently have pioneering schemes in place, with 21 local councils to follow this year.

The question as to who will shoulder the financial burden of the transition could become a major political hot potato, the Volkskrant said.

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