Call for whole neighbourhoods to be switched to renewable energy


People living in homes with the worst energy efficiency ratings could save around €1,100 a year on their fuel bills if the government invested in large-scale conversion to renewable sources.

The renewable energy association NVDE is calling on the government to speed up the energy transition by switching entire neighbourhoods in one go, reducing dependence on natural gas and saving low-income households from falling into fuel poverty.

It said the cabinet could take 1.1 million of the 8 million homes in the Netherlands off the gas main if it invested €11 bn in alternative sources such as solar energy or heat pumps.

The amount is equivalent to initial estimates for the cost of the energy price cap when it was announced in November, although that figure is now expected to be much lower as wholesale gas prices have come down by around 65% since then.

The NVDE says the government should pay for half the cost of switching private homes off the gas supply, or the full amount for people who are living in energy poverty.

‘There are plenty of regulations to improve people’s homes, but they are piecemeal and complicated,’ NVDE chairman Olof van der Gaag said. ‘We suggest allocating state funding to a wide-ranging regulation to tackle improvements to homes on a large scale, starting in neighbourhoods with the highest energy poverty.’

Housing corporations have already been set a target of improve energy efficiency in homes with an energy rating of E, F or G by 2028, while private landlords will no longer be able to rent out homes in the bottom three categories from 2030.

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