NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 06:00
The government must provide billions in subsidies to make entire neighborhoods more sustainable and to phase them out of gas in one go. This call is made by the Dutch Sustainable Energy Association (NVDE), the trade association of thousands of companies active in the field of sustainable energy. The government should focus on neighborhoods with a lot of energy poverty, i.e. where people live with a low income and a high energy bill or a house with a low energy label.
This year, the cabinet will compensate high energy bills with the energy ceiling. In the autumn memorandum, which was published last November, the government estimated that this ceiling will cost more than 11 billion euros. If the cabinet allocates the same amount to make neighborhoods more sustainable, more than 1.1 million homes can be made natural gas-free, according to the NVDE. There are about 8 million homes in the Netherlands.
Buy and rent
The NVDE assumes that if a resident lives in energy poverty, the government will pay for the entire sustainability process, whether it concerns an owner of an owner-occupied home or a tenant from a corporation or private landlord. If the resident does not live in energy poverty, the homeowner would have to pay half. This can be the resident himself, the private landlord or the corporation.
“The energy transition should also offer ordinary people with a tight budget something really nice. There are quite a lot of schemes to improve homes, but they are fragmented and complicated,” says NVDE chairman Olof van der Gaag. “We propose to spend government money on a generous scheme for the large-scale approach to home improvement. Starting in neighborhoods with the most energy poverty.”
Lower energy bill
The NVDE had the plan investigated by research bureau Ecorys. This shows that the energy bill of houses that are tackled in this way will fall by an average of 1100 euros per year. By making it more sustainable on a large scale, it should also be possible to make it more efficient. And it would require fewer workers, which is useful in view of the tight labor market.
It has already been agreed with corporations that by 2028 they will have upgraded all homes with energy label E, F or G to a higher energy label. Private landlords will no longer be allowed to rent out homes with label E, F or G from 2030.
De Jonge: billions are already available
In response to the NVDE’s call, Minister De Jonge says that the cabinet is already doing as much as possible to insulate extra and to make it more sustainable: “Billions are available and we have a heating fund for people who cannot borrow extra, for some even at zero percent interest. And we are already helping through municipalities to make homes more sustainable in each neighborhood.”
But according to De Jonge, the NVDE’s proposal will cost billions of euros extra: “And if you make even more money available, you don’t just have more people to get all the work that needs to be done on those houses done.” The minister does want to see how he can further accelerate sustainability.
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