The young and the better off show more support for switching off gas


Cabinet plans to phase out the use of gas for cooking and heating can count on very different levels of support in different population groups, according to research by the government’s socio-cultural think-tank SCP.

And while 76% of households are prepared to shift to more environment-friendly sources of energy, just 49% support the government’s ambition and 27% oppose it, the researchers found.

Young adults, people with college and university degrees and those on higher incomes are more likely to back gas-free living. Older people and singles are must less inclined to make the switch – and say the lack of clarity about a good alternative is a key issue.

‘Not everyone can and will be involved in the energy transition in the same way,’ the researchers said. ‘And is is important that policy takes this into account, so there is no growth in inequality between different population groups.’

Earlier this year, MPs voted by a narrow majority of 76 to 74 to stop local councils from forcing people to cook on electric rather than gas stoves following a dispute on a Utrecht housing estate.

The Dutch government plans to completely phase out the use of gas in private homes by 2050 and in 2018 dropped the requirement that all new homes be connected to the gas grid. Local authorities have until 2021 to draw up plans to disconnect homes from the gas grid on a district by district basis.

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