Project developers, builders warn of ‘panic football’ in shift to gas-free homes


Project developers, building firms and housing corporations have sounded the alarm about the cabinet’s plans to ban them from including gas-fired heating and cooking facilities in new homes from July this year.

They accused the cabinet of being irresponsible because the decision will lead to long delays as architectural plans are changed to take the new rules into account.

Some 35% of the new homes in the planning or under construction are connected to the gas grid – and that means the plans for 10,000 homes will have to be amended, the building firms say.

The coalition agreement stated that new homes should be gas-free from the end of the current cabinet period, and home affairs minister Kajsa Ollongren has also given 2020 as the deadline.

But following the latest earthquakes in Groningen, the cabinet has decided to speed up the transition to a gas-free society and MPs voted virtually unanimously to end the requirement that all homes have the option to use gas as quickly as possible.

That, in effect, means that gas companies can no longer provide the infrastructure for new housing developments from July this year.

Jan Fokkema, head of the project developer’s association Neprom, told the Volkskrant the July 1 deadline is ‘panic football’, and pointed out that there is a major shortage of technicians to install the new heat pump technology.

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