Dutch MPs want home-owners to fight energy loss
Majority of MPs voted to move away from the laissez-faire approach to energy conservation and ensure more houses are well-insulated and have low-efficiency central heating systems.The Hague – Majority of Dutch MPs in the lower house voted Thursday to exert more pressure on home owners and housing corporations to make houses more energy efficient.
A motion proposed by Labour wants to eliminate homes with single-pane windows, single-layer walls, non-insulated surfaces and low-energy central heating systems by 2015.
"We want to get rid of such homes very gradually. That does not mean we are going to have them torn down. It is relatively simple to install insulation and thus improve their energy-efficiency," said Labour MP Diederik Samson told NOS public radio.
Heat leakage, particularly through un-insulated roofs and walls is a major source of energy wastage in the Netherlands. With an average outside temperature of 8.9 degrees Celsius, many homes are heated all year round. It is felt that minimising heat loss will make a major contribution to the fight against global warming.
The plan is opposed by a minority including the governing Christian democrats, the conservative VVD, the Freedom Party and orthodox Christian SGP.
Christian democrat MP Hein Pieper said he did not want everybody to be pushed into the same mould.
"We don't all need to wear the Maoist suit of Labour's Mr Samson. Creativity will provide a whole range of solutions, and will offer new ideas for our export-driven economy. What we need is creativity to come up with new products."
The Labour party also said home-owners who are unable to finance improvements should get government support.
The Labour proposal is a move away from the laissez-faire approach which the majority of the lower house now feel is ineffective.
Currently, energy providers, housing corporations and other bodies involved sign voluntary agreements with the government to try and do their utmost to promote energy-efficiency. Such agreements contain no sanctions, nor are they binding.
Radio Netherlands / Expatica