Planning office: investing in more sustainable owner-occupied homes often not profitable

Homeowners can make a lot of investments to make their home more sustainable, but it is difficult to recoup them. That is why their contribution to meeting the climate targets in thirty years’ time will be much smaller than the government assumes, concludes the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL)

The government wants all homes to be gas- and energy-neutral by 2050. This means that some 200,000 homes will have to be made sustainable every year. The intention is that this will not increase the cost of living.

Recovered after thirty years

An average household with energy label D, for example, has to invest 35,000 euros to make the house energy-neutral. This will save 50 euros per month on energy costs. This means that the investment will only be recouped after decades.

For single-person households, the investment is even less attractive. They spend more or less the same amount on making their home more sustainable as a two-income family, but they only have one income to pay for the investment.

In the Climate Agreement it has been agreed that the built environment – that is both homes and other buildings – may emit 3.4 million tonnes less CO2 in 2030. That is 7 percent of the total reduction in CO2 emissions to be achieved in that year.