Tax on natural gas further increased to discourage use

The tax on natural gas will increase by 3 cents per cubic metre next year, while that on electricity will remain virtually the same. With the tax measure, the government wants to encourage people to use less gas, because that is bad for the climate.

By no means everyone will feel the effects in their wallets. Only households that use a lot of natural gas, for example because they live in a poorly insulated house, will feel the effects. That is because in 2021, just as every year, everyone will receive energy tax back from the national government, with an extra EUR 31 next year.

This virtually compensates for the increase of 3 cents per cubic metre of natural gas for a household with average energy consumption. The amount of gas and electricity people use is different for everyone and largely depends on the type of house you live in. Milieu Centraal has developed a calculation tool which you can use to check whether you are going to pay more or less energy tax based on your consumption.

Better insulation

If people have to pay more for natural gas, they will do their best to reduce its consumption through, for example, insulation, the idea is. Since 1 January 2020, people will, for the first time, pay relatively much more tax on natural gas, because of CO2 emissions. In 2021 and the years that follow, the tax will be increased a little further each time.

According to Puk van Meegeren of Milieu Centraal, insulation is always good. In the short term, this will reduce people‘s gas consumption, and in the longer term it will make the house suitable as an alternative to a central heating boiler, such as a (hybrid) heat pump or heat network.

Natural gas still needed for the time being

Natural gas as a source of heating is really still needed for many homes for the time being, says Van Meegeren, because many homes are not yet suitable for alternatives and there is still too little real renewable energy available But at the same time, insulating homes is not going fast enough, he says. Whether the new tax measure will actually lead to people insulating their homes better is still a question, he says. One measure is rarely decisive, but it does help. There are also other knobs that the government can turn

For example, there are subsidies or favourable loans for measures in your home. But in addition, people could use a little extra help, Van Meegeren thinks. We know from research that people want to make their homes more sustainable. But they often don’t know what they can do best. They need personal advice, for example from the municipality

Previous research has shown that especially in older houses, outside walls and floors are still insufficiently insulated. They also regularly have double glazing instead of HR++ glass.

Milieu Centraal is an independent information organisation that tries to summarise all the scientific knowledge there is about the environment and climate in handy advice for citizens. What people often do not know is: what is good enough? How far should you go in insulating your home?, says Van Meegeren. That is why we are currently studying this. Because good information about this is certainly desirable