The Metropoolregio Eindhoven (MRE) calls on the colleges of mayor and aldermen that will emerge after the elections of 21 March to make natural gas-free construction part of the coalition agreement. A letter to that effect was sent yesterday to all political parties participating in the elections in the 21 MRE-municipalities.
In this way, the Metropolitan Region follows an initiative that was previously successfully taken up in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region. “Metropoolregio has the ambition to be the first urban region to be energy-neutral”, says Paul van Liempd, who is responsible for energy transition on behalf of MRE. “Our ambition also includes reducing the use of fossil fuels, so we also want to stop using natural gas in homes. The first step is to no longer to connect new homes to the natural gas network.”
The government wants new homes to be disconnected from the gas grid within one year (instead of the previously chosen four years period). “In this region, municipalities can support this initiative by agreeing, as for example the municipalities of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region did, that all new homes will be developed without natural gas as from now.”
MRE prefers to see an agreement on a regional scale, as this would prevent distorting competition between projects. “Because of a regional approach, developers will not feel the need to go to other municipalities in the region because the policy is the same everywhere.” According to Van Liempd, such a decision does not make the housing task any more difficult. “Builders are able to anticipate to this. And the market is challenged to realize houses that are also future-proof in terms of energy.”
Initiatives are already taking place on a limited scale in some municipalities of the Metropolitan region to enable natural gas-free construction and freeing existing homes of natural gas.