In 2015 the municipality of Leiden decided to give subsidies to energysaving measures for households. A budget of 1.5 million Euros has been provided. In this way, twenty-five percent of the investment is paid by the government, in order to make energysaving more accessible.
Actually, a subsidy on measures like cavity wall insulation and glass insulation are barely needed. I claim this because of three reasons: insulation is comfortable, insulation decreases the costs for gas and electricity and insulation increases the value of the house. Within a few years, the investment has been paid back (MilieuCentraal).
In the picture below, the returns on investments are shown. For roof insulation, there is a yearly saving of 650 Euros on average!
The measures can be divided into two categories. The insulation measures save energy. This includes roof-, cavity wall-, floor-, and glass insulation. These measures make sure less heat disappears from the house. In this way, gas is saved.
On the other hand, measures like solar panels get energy from the sun and turn it into electricity. This causes a decrease on electricity costs enormously. Green energy for free!
Besides the gas and electricity costs, another financial aspect is interesting. Research by Tias in the Netherlands showed that a house with a better Energylabel is sold in less time for a better price (Tias, 2015)! For example, the price for a house with energylabel A is 12.000 Euros higher than an average D-label house. In general, energysaving measures are responsible for a better energylabel.
So, I believe, subsidies are not really needed. But maybe, it makes it a smaller step to invest. And this is needed to lower the energy needs for the people in Leiden.
But it’s not all nice.. The city center of Leiden consists of a lot of monumental buildings, that are hard to improve. Often, things like glass insulation are not allowed. Therefore, a monumental building are supposed to have energylabels.
Another problematic aspect of the subsidy is the subsidy for ground insulation. Ground insulation is different than floor insulation. Ground insulation is on the bottom of the space under the floor. Floor insulation is right under the floor. Ground insulation is not such a good insulator. It’s definitely good against moistured areas. But the insulation value is low, in comparison to newer techniques.
Concluding, energysaving measures are really perfect to take, and it’s good that the municipality shows that they encourage these opportunities. However, we still have to ask ourselves: Is a subsidy really needed? Why not a loan? And, if subsidize, is it good enough? Definitely, smart people should invest in their houses. Comfortable and moneymaking.
More info on cavity wall insulation? watch this! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csLRsqx2T-8