Uncertainty reigns as additional insulation efforts contradicts environment


The Homeowners’ Association is immediately ceasing its assistance with cavity wall insulation. The advocacy group considers it irresponsible to offer this service until the caretaker government provides “clarity on how to environmentally insulate cavity walls in the short term.” Members were able to hire a certified company at a discount through Eigen Huis.

The reason for this decision is a ruling by the Council of State that insulation companies must better check for the presence of bats and other endangered species. An inspection with a camera is not sufficient; the areas where an animal can hide must be monitored over an extended period.

This natural inspection costs around 5,000 euros, making the insulation of an average home four times more expensive. Additionally, it leads to months of delays because an ecologist must inspect the property at various times of the year. Furthermore, there are not enough experts to meet the demand.

“This also means that the sustainability efforts for poorly insulated homes will significantly slow down, and energy consumption – and therefore the bills – will not decrease,” warns Cindy Kremer, the director of VEH. “With the approaching winter and the removal of the price cap, we are concerned about this.”

“It’s not making it easier for us to further the sustainability of the Netherlands,” Piet-Jan Dijkstra of Venin, the insulation companies’ trade association, also agrees. He calls Eigen Huis’s decision regrettable but understands the reasoning behind it.

“We need more guidelines on what we should do. At the moment, thanks to the Council of State’s ruling, we know what we are not allowed to do, but we still don’t have a clear picture of what we should do instead. This is causing a lot of anxiety for everyone involved in making the Netherlands more sustainable.”

Dijkstra previously warned that due to stricter environmental regulations, the government’s ambition to insulate an additional 2 million homes by 2030 will not be achieved. “Before we have mapped out the whole of the Netherlands, we are at least 5 years down the line. What do we do in the meantime?”

He says homeowners also do not want to bear the additional costs. “We conducted a study on this, and 97 percent of people say, ‘Then I won’t further make my home sustainable.'”

Vereniging Eigen Huis advocates for more municipal involvement in the process. This way, natural risks can be assessed at the neighborhood level. Then, further investigation is only necessary in specific areas, and measures such as plastic flaps can be installed to keep bats out of the walls.

By: Oliver I. Kjeldsen

Oliver I. Kjeldsen has a corporate finance and extensive expertise in company audit. He grants us amazing insights on taxation, international affairs and friendly advice on nearly any topic of interest. His email is oliver.kjeldsen@economicinform.com

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