The use of natural gas for houses accounts for approximately 10% of CO2 emissions in the Netherlands and 15% in Belgium. On average 50% of the energy bill for households is due to heating houses, which is often done by using fossil fuels, such as natural gas. A recent study shows that if (local) governments, housing corporations and home-owners want to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming, a shift from the use of natural gas is of paramount importance. On average each household produces 4 tonnes of CO2 annually by using natural gas as heating source.
The Dutch government has ambitious goals for household consumption of energy: before 2050 all houses need to make use of sustainable technologies in terms of energy sources. Changing energy sources of houses or neighborhoods that have yet to be build can be implemented quite easy. However, changing the energy source of existing structures that make use of natural gas is very challenging, not in the least because of the impact such a shift has on home-owners or housing corporations.
The IMPACT program focuses on testing and evaluating several smart solutions in varying settings (e.g. types of houses or neighborhoods). IMPACT brings the frontrunners on energy transition in the field of home-owners and housing corporations together to stimulate spill-overs to other neighborhoods, cities and regions.