Making homes sustainable not financially attractive for homeowners, Planning office says

Homeowners will have difficulty recouping the investments they make to make their homes more sustainable. For that reason, their contribution to reducing CO2 emissions to achieve climate goals will be much smaller than the government assumes, the Netherlands’ environmental assessment agency PBL said on Monday, NOS reports.

The Climate Agreement states that the built environment – homes and other buildings – must emit 3.4 million tons CO2 less by 2030. That is 7 percent of the total CO2 reduction the government wants to achieve that year. The government wants all homes to be energy neutral and off the gas network by 2050. That means that around 200 thousand homes must be made more sustainable per year.

The intention is that the increased sustainability must not increase housing costs. But according to PBL, that is not achievable for many homes. The current subsidy schemes are not enough to make it financially attractive for homeowners to invest in insulation, heat pumps, solar panels and the lie.

For example, the average household with an energy label of D must invest 35 thousand euros to make their home energy neutral. With an energy neutral home, they’ll save 50 euros per month on energy costs. So they will only make that investment back after decades. This is even worse for single-income households – they have to spend about the same as household with two incomes, but have only one income to cover it.