Dutch heat pump industry responds to cancellation of 2026 legislation

16 May 2024

Dutch government buildings in The Hague, Netherlands (photo: Shutterstock)
Dutch government buildings in The Hague, Netherlands (photo: Shutterstock)

The two associations representing the heat pump industry in the Netherlands today expressed their astonishment at the new coalition government’s proposal to abandon the path towards greater sustainability for the Netherlands and its homes.

In doing so, the new government is undermining the heat pump sector, which has invested heavily production capacity, which is part of the public private execution of the Dutch (hybrid) heat pump action plan, say the associations, Vereniging Warmtepompen and NVI-GO. What’s more, the new government is denying the Dutch society and economy cheap heat from its own environment with sustainable electricity from solar and wind.

The new government coalition proposes adaptations to the mandatory replacement of gas boilers with more sustainable alternatives in individual existing homes from 2026. This obligation concerns now only the situations in which this sustainable replacement actually adds value. This upgrade is also supported by a performance assurance (demonstrating that the more sustainable alternative actually delivers the promised savings compared to a stand-alone gas boiler). 

If this paragraph of the government agreement is implemented, the soaring growth in heat pump applications of the last few years will be impacted. This trend can be seen with the CBS and ISDE figures of the past few years.

In recent years, heat pumps have made an enormous contribution not only  to the Dutch national objectives but also to European objectives on the energy transition and the commitments our country has entered into in this regard. The expectation is that with this coalition agreement achieving climate goals, and a livable world for those who come after us will at best postponed. At worst, their very achievability could be called into question.

The sustainable industry in general, but especially those in the heat pump value chain in the broad sense, make an important contribution to the economy in the Netherlands. There is significant direct and indirect employment generated by our industry but also by our suppliers, installers, transport and logistics.  If these plans are implemented, it will make these sectors economically vulnerable.  

We are also surprised that the proposal would make a number of important investments redundant. There was a government incentive to increase production capacity, start innovation programmes, carry out communication projects and become active in performance assurance and standardisation.

Not only the government made a lot of investments, but due to the government’s enthusiasm, also industry has invested in manufacturing sites, people and resources. As a result, also due to the clear government direction, there has been investment in production capacity that is ready for a sustainable future but cannot now begin to be utilised.

The heat pump sector, represented by the NVI-GO and Vereniging Warmtepompen, believes that sustainability involves not only people, resources and consumption but also the efficient and effective use of invested resources. In pursuing this coalition paragraph, that very important condition can no longer be met. This will have a negative economic, social and climate technical impact.

The sector would like to participate and reflect with the  cabinet that is to be formed, in order to carry on down the path to more sustainable solutions in existing buildings. This will help meet the ever-growing demand for cheap locally sourced heat powered by sustainable electricity from our own wind and sun.

Contact:

Susanne de Ruwe, NVI-GO
susanne.de.ruwe@verwarmingsindustrie.nl

Sandy Hoogendijk, Vereniging Warmtepompen
communicatie@warmte-pompen.nl

Related articles

Worker shortages doubled between 2015 and 2021 in some green transition sectors. We need to work on skills as ...
19 Jun 2024
From pineapple to prawns and pints of beer, every part of the food and drink sector can be decarbonised with.....
11 Jun 2024
Last week elections for the European Parliament took place across the EU. Patrick Crombez, president of the Eu...
10 Jun 2024
In many countries, the running costs of heat pumps are still higher than those of fossil fuel boilers. This ha...
31 May 2024