Flanders advances ban on gas connections in new buildings by one year
Flanders wants to speed up the phasing out of natural gas by introducing the ban on gas connections in new constructions one year earlier than planned. This means the ban should go into effect in 2025 instead of 2026.
The resolution to advance the ban by a year is part of a proposed decree by majority parties N-VA (Flemish nationalists), CD&V (christian democrats) and Open VLD (libertarians) which was approved today in the Energy Committee of the Flemish parliament. The aim is to take “a realistic accelerated step towards defossilization.”
In its climate agreement of November 2021, the Flemish government had decided to actively reduce dependence on fossil fuels and to stimulate environmentally friendly heating techniques. For example, a fuel oil boiler will no longer be allowed in new buildings as early as 2022. It was also agreed not to allow natural gas connections in new construction from 2026 onwards.
The aim is for fully electric heat pumps to become the norm in new buildings from 2025 onwards.
The war in Ukraine has stirred up the debate about dependence on natural gas, prompting an acceleration of energy transition policies. To speed up the reduction of this dependence, Flanders now wants to advance the phasing out of natural gas. A proposed decree now calls for a ban from 2025 instead of 2026.
At the same time, the government intends to scrap the planned transitional phase with hybrid heat pumps in new homes. The original intention was to make a (hybrid) heat pump mandatory in new buildings from 2023. A hybrid heat pump, which runs partly on electricity and partly on gas, was long considered an ideal transitional technology to replace classic gas boilers. However, there have been calls for some time to skip this transitional phase and to right away go for fully electric heat pumps, especially in new buildings. The aim is for this type of heat pump to become the norm in new buildings from 2025 onwards.
© BELGA PHOTO HERIWG VERGULT