Call to ban gas heating boilers in Netherlands by 2021

A large coalition of parties from various sectors in the Netherlands is calling on the Tweede Kamer to phase out traditional central heating boilers within three years. By 2021 homeowners should only be allowed to replace their central heating boilers with a more sustainable solution, such as a heating pump or a hybrid heating pump, the parties say, NOS reports. 

On Wednesday installation branch organization Uneto-VNI, boiler manufacturers, environmental groups, and part of the energy sector are handing a manifesto to this end to the Tweede Kamer and Diederik Samsom, who was appointed as negotiator for the Climate and Energy Agreement. The parties aim to make homes in the Netherlands more sustainable. Central heating boilers are relatively inefficient in converting gas into heat. Every year around 350 thousand such boilers need replacing in the Netherlands.

These should be replaced by a heating pump or a hybrid pump, according to the manifesto. With a heating pump, a home will no longer use gas for heating. The heating is generated electrically, reducing CO2 emissions of a home by an average of 50 to 60 percent, according to the broadcaster. A hybrid heating pump is less efficient in reducing CO2 emissions, but also cheaper. The hybrid pump is installed alongside the central heating boiler and works kind of like a reverse fridge motor. The hybrid pump does most of the heating work, with the boiler only switching on when it is very cold to provide hot water in the kitchen and bathroom. A hybrid pump can reduce a home's CO2 emissions by around 35 percent. 

The manifesto parties acknowledge that their plan will be expensive to homeowners - a heating pump and a hybrid pump is several thousand euros more expensive than a central heating boiler. In order not to bankrupt homeowners, they suggest a special building-linked financing plan. The homeowner pays a fixed monthly amount for the installations through a service contract. And when the property is sold, the contract is transferred to the new owner. 

The manifesto is signed by, among others, Greenpeace, Milieudefensie, Eneco, Essent, and Uneto-VNI. Many of these parties will take part in the negotiations for the Climate and Energy Agreement in the coming months. The aim is to agree on how the Netherlands can reduce its CO2 emissions by 49 to 55 percent.