Local councils don’t have enough money to help home owners go gas free
Many local authorities do not have enough money to help home owners insulate their homes in preparation for being removed from the gas grid, news website Nu.nl reported on Thursday.
Under the terms of the national climate agreement, 1.5 million homes should be removed from the gas network by 2030, but 55% of local councils say they don’t have enough money to ensure this happens and 48% say current strategy on insulation and alternative energy sources is too expensive for their residents.
Nu.nl sent its survey to all 345 Dutch local authority areas and 239, or almost 70%, responded. The research took place before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which is having a major impact on both the price and supply of gas.
Just 8% of councils said they had removed some housing from the gas grid and 26% are currently working toward it.
In particular, there is a lot of uncertainty about city heating schemes which are considered to be a suitable alternative to individual gas-fired systems. Just one in five local authorities said they planned to expand existing city heating systems with the rest undecided or against.
Electric heat pumps are seen as a better option by local authorities even though they are expensive and require high standards of insulation to be effective.
The coalition agreement includes budget to help local authorities pay for the energy transition, starting with €300m next year and rising to €800m in 2025. However, this is well below the amount recommended by the local authority council, which said last year €1.8bn was needed in the period 2022 to 2024 alone.
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