The Dutch government has reversed its decision to introduce a broad hybrid heat pump obligation from 2026. Multi-storey apartment buildings and protected buildings will be exempted.
The move takes place after the Dutch government announced in May 2022 that hybrid heat pumps will become the country’s new heating standard from January 1, 2026. The measure originally concerned apartments and listed buildings, but the government has now backed away from the plans.
The heat pump mandate applies to buildings where the return on the heat pump investment is a maximum of seven years after the state has covered a maximum of 30% of the costs with grants. Jonge said multi-story buildings often do not meet this requirement.
“Research by W/E consultants shows that high-rise apartments tend to have a long payback period and that there are bottlenecks in terms of noise and available space,” he wrote in his letter to parliament.
The minister justified the exemption for protected buildings by the fact that they require a change permit, which is too long a process to quickly replace a gas boiler with a heat pump.
In general, “an exception is made for situations where the standard cannot be properly applied, for example when, due to noise requirements or necessary modifications to the home, more efficient installations result in disproportionately high costs,” Jonge said.
Houses already heated with district heating are also exempt from the tax, as are neighborhoods that can switch to district heating within 10 years.
Non-residential buildings with an annual electricity consumption of less than 50,000 kWh or 25,000 cubic meters of natural gas also require the installation of a heat pump.
The mandate sets hybrid heat pumps as the “minimum standard”, but emphasizes that fully electric heat pumps and district heating are also feasible solutions. Homeowners, institutions and small businesses can apply for a grant that covers 30% of the average installation costs of heat pumps. Households with an annual income of up to 60,000 euros ($66,261) can borrow additional funds through an interest-free loan system.