Homeowners and their views on sustainable alternatives
Original title: Onder de pannen zonder gas?
There are growing signs around the world that climate change is happening faster than anticipated. The Paris Agreement on climate change committed signatories to global targets on reduction of carbon emissions, to be achieved partly by curbing the use of fossil fuels. One of the elements of Dutch climate policy is the transition to gas-free residential districts. Over the coming decades, around eight million existing homes (and other buildings) will have to be disconnected from the natural gas network and provided with alternative fuel sources for space heating, hot water and cooking. Dutch municipalities and regions are currently developing district plans, which are scheduled for completion in 2021.
The transition to gas-free homes will of course affect citizens. Both tenants and home-owners will be confronted with measures which affect them in their homes and which have an impact on their household finances. However, the precise consequences will depend greatly on the context of the individual districts and neighbourhoods, and on the solution proposed by the local authority – and also, of course on the practical options citizens see for their own home and household.
This report, A home without gas? Homeowners and their views on sustainable alternatives (Onder de pannen zonder gas?), describes an exploratory study aimed at shedding light on how the Dutch citizens feel about the transition to living without gas in their homes. The context is the gas transition on which the Dutch government has recently embarked and the (as yet largely uncrystallised) choices and policy measures taken by local authorities. The citizen perspective is broadly framed in this study, taking in knowledge and perceptions, values and opinions, attitudes and behavioural intentions. The study was carried out using four focus groups made up of home-owners.