Drop in homeowner applications for energy-efficiency subsidies


The number of homeowners in Flanders applying for government subsidies to improve their home’s energy efficiency dropped drastically last year

Major downturn

The number of people applying for government subsidies to improve the energy efficiency of their homes dropped by 32% last year compared to the year before. The biggest downturn was reported in grants to insulate roofs, which fell by 43%.

The figures were released by Flemish energy minister Annemie Turtelboom in response to a parliamentary question tabled by Robrecht Bothuyne. “Many houses in Flanders are still a long way from being energy efficient,” Bothuyne said. “More than one-quarter of all houses still need roof insulation, while half don’t have any cavity wall insulation”.

Bothuyne suggested that the reason for the sharp drop in figures was that those with a specific interest in making their homes greener had already done so, but the majority of homeowners don’t realise how much energy – and money – they can save through certain improvements. “It’s those people we need to try to reach,” he said, “like with energy audits in their homes so they can see concretely how much they could save.”

Turtelboom, meanwhile, told the Flemish parliament that she planned to simplify the system for claiming grants.
Photo courtesy kerkstoel-bouwmaterialen.be