The Netherlands will ban the installation of gas boilers in homes from 2026 and prioritise installing hybrid heat pumps, the Dutch government has announced.
Sustainable heating systems such as air source heat pumps can help to lower carbon emissions from homes and have comparatively low running costs compared to fossil fuel boilers.
While the UK is set to ban gas boilers from new homes from 2025 in favour of sustainable heating systems, this new Dutch policy will affect all homeowners.
New houses and existing homes that need their heating system upgrade will be required to have hybrid heat pumps installed - these pumps are a combination of a heat pump and a central heating boiler - or alternatively they can install an electric heat pump or connect to a district heat network.
Dutch Minister for Housing and Spatial Planning Hugo De Jonge, said: “The urgency of sustainability is great and the pace must be increased. It is also better for everyone’s wallet if we use less natural gas. That is why the cabinet wants the hybrid heat pump to become the standard from 2026 when the central heating boiler needs to be replaced.”
There will be an exception for homes that are not suitable for heat pumps whereby homeowners can stick to their current systems, and for homes that might need to be connected to an alternative to natural gas in the short term.
How Will This be Funded?
The Dutch government offers subsidies for the purchase of hybrid heat pumps, which has been increased to an average of 30% from this year. It has also committed €150 million (£127.2m) per year up to 2030 to support homeowners with heat pump purchases and installation costs.
Dutch ministers are now drawing up standards for suppliers and installers which will set requirements for the efficiency of the heating systems. And manufacturers are currently building factories where they can produce hybrid heat pumps on a large scale and at lower costs.
The UK government launched its Boiler Upgrade Scheme in April, which offers grants of £5,000 for homeowners to have air source heat pumps installed, and £6,000 for ground source heat pumps.
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme notably excludes hybrid heat pumps, however. Meanwhile, the Dutch government expects hybrid heat pumps to lead to an average saving of 60% on natural gas consumption,
The UK government is not expected to enforce a similar gas boiler ban, nor force homeowners to remove gas boilers from their homes, but it did confirm in its Heat & Buildings Strategy published in October 2021 that it plans to gradually phase out gas boilers over time.
The International Energy Agency has warned that no new gas boilers should be sold from 2025 if the world is to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
Jack has worked in journalism for 11 years and is the News Editor for Homebuilding & Renovating, a role he has had since 2019. He strives to break the most relevant and beneficial stories for self builders, extenders and renovators, including the latest news on the construction materials shortage and hydrogen heating. In 2021 he appeared on BBC's The World at One to discuss the government's planning reforms.
He enjoys testing new tools and gadgets, and having bought his first home in 2013, he has renovated every room and recently finished a garden renovation.
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