In the years 2017 and 2018, the number of houses with a gas connection increased faster than the amount of gasless homes. This is evidenced by new figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
The outcome is in stark contrast to the desire of the climate agreement to make the Dutch housing stock natural gas free. Under the leadership of PVDA Coryfee Diederik Samsom, the climate tables committed themselves to decoupling 1.5 million houses from natural gas by 2030. “That objective is still a challenge,” concludes CBS spokesman Cor Pierik.
During the period mentioned, the gas tap was permanently disconnected in 12,000 homes. Together with 41,000 gas-less new-build houses, the total amount of 53,000 sustainable Samsom homes. In the same years, however, the number of new homes with a gas connection grew even harder: by 78,000.
Pierik emphasises that this partly creates a distorted image. Since 2019, “the necessary things have been done towards natural gas free,” he says. Thus, in 2019 and 2020, the percentage of new homes delivered without natural gas connection grew at lightning speed. “But that can only be seen in the CBS figures of next year.”
7,8 million homes, 450,000 were heated differently than natural gas in 2019. To make this 1.5 million by 2030, the pace of the conversion has to go up. With the rhythm of 2017-2018 — an average of 6,000 homes per year — the climate target would only have been reached in 175 years.
The province of Utrecht is at the frontrunner in making natural gas free with 0.4% of the existing housing. In Purmerend, most of the houses of natural gas are 62.7%. They are now heated by depriving large-scale woody biomass.