Utrecht is the first to force locals to give up their gas cookers

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

A complex of 10 blocks of flats in the north of Utrecht will become the first in the country where residents are forced to stop using gas for cooking, the Volkskrant reported on Thursday.

The district of Overvecht-Noord, which has 8,000 mainly housing corporation homes, was earmarked in 2017 as one of the test areas for the transition away from natural gas.

Now the underground gas pipes need renewing, the city and housing corporation have decided to make the move to gas-free kitchens in one part of the district, at a cost of €3,000 per home.

Most residents in the complex have accepted the change, sweetened by a new induction stove and set of saucepans paid for by the city, the VK said. Just 18 of the 320 tenants said they did not want to make the move.

The Dutch climate accord, agreed in 2018, states that 1.5 million homes should be gas-free by 2030 but slow progress is being made. The government is currently drawing up legislation which will allow councils to force more people to give up gas.

At the moment, gas connections can be removed if at least 70% of residents agree to do so.

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