Voting Guide Meerhoven

Question 5: Transition vision for heat

According to the Transition Vision Heat of the Municipality of Eindhoven, a number of neighbourhoods including Meerhoven are already partially gas-free or use very little natural gas. However, about half of the heat from the heat network in Meerhoven is still produced with natural gas. In addition, many households in Meerhoven are still dependent on natural gas. The Transition Concept does not elaborate on how Meerhoven will become entirely natural gas-free. What measures will you take to make Meerhoven entirely natural gas-free within the set term?

The energy transition is a complex task and for a long time it was thought that biomass would be a good successor to natural gas, unfortunately this is not the case. Currently, the municipality has (as of 1/1/2022) 1200 homes connected (own customers), this will grow in the coming years (in Meerhoven) to approximately 1600 homes. (2024/2025). The municipality feeds five boiler houses in Meerhoven, behind which Ennatuurlijk has its customers (Zandrijk and Grasrijk). The estimate of the number of homes connected by Ennatuurlijk there is approximately 2600 homes. The 2020 figures for the biomass to natural gas ratio of Ennatuurlijk’s heat network in Meerhoven are Biomass : Natural gas = 53% : 47% (the Biomass heat is 100% from BEC Meerhoven). We then think that Ennatuurlijk should stop using gas in their power station as soon as possible. Our own power station now runs 100% on biomass.  We are currently learning from the pilot neighbourhoods free of gas and want to put a lot of effort into taking more steps in the coming years. We are phasing out biomass, increasing insulation and concentrating on all-electric homes or other forms of heating. Geothermal energy is one example. It is important to us that we proceed with decisiveness and support.
The vision will have to be worked out into an implementation plan. This will involve external parties, so it is difficult to mention concrete measures at this stage.
1) By 2050 at the latest, all of Meerhoven must be natural gas-free, according to the established heat vision. At least half of the area already has a biomass-based heat network. Describing exact measures until 2050 is difficult because technological developments during the period up to 2050 will probably be very fast (certainly now with the rising prices). But first of all we must insulate and reduce energy consumption in order to reduce demand. The CDA has no preference for expanding the heat network because this is not always profitable (certainly when biomass is phased out). It may be possible to construct a profitable heat network if techniques are improved, but it seems difficult to us.

2) The CDA is therefore more interested in the movement towards hybrid and fully electric heat pumps. The CDA wants to focus on this because it is feasible, portable and affordable, as opposed to an uncertain heat network. Vattenfall is currently also working on an all-electric heat pump that can heat poorly insulated houses.  Hopefully, the introduction of heat pumps (hybrid and electric) can be further stimulated by collective purchasing (so lower purchase price), loans, in addition to the national subsidies. In combination with the development of affordable house batteries (such as those of the Eindhoven-based company Cellsius (, many houses, including Meerhoven, may be able to switch away from gas in the future at an accelerated pace.

3) The municipality, through its energy cooperative, must provide affordable solar panels through large-scale purchasing and/or provide favourable loans.  In addition, there must be easy spatial procedures if they form an obstacle to solar on house or business roofs.

4) The role of the municipality, in cooperation with Enexsis and Tennet, is to ensure that a good electricity network is created that can cope with the large electricity demand and supply (this is still uncertain at present).

5) The municipality stimulates innovations and pilots.

At the moment, there is not enough budget to disconnect several neighbourhoods from the gas. The municipality of Eindhoven is now working on a number of neighbourhoods. After these neighbourhoods, Meerhoven may be next.
The Ouderen Appel – hart voor Eindhoven thinks that the roadmap “transition vision heat” is formulated on outdated lines and should be adjusted to current events.  The government decision to invest in infra/systems (heat networks) has been postponed to the new cabinet in November 2021. The budgets reserved at the time for the National Insulation Programme (514 mln over three years), and the 150 mln for energy poverty through municipalities, are underdeveloped. Also the concept of housing cost neutrality has not yet been elaborated. We, the OAE, believe that housing cost neutrality for each individual household must be guaranteed with extra attention to vulnerable groups. The OAE communicates directly with the representatives in the second chamber by offering the portfolio holders our black book in which we directly discuss the abuses in Eindhoven in this area.
This is part of the plans made. As 50PLUS, we promote making homes natural gas-free, but this should never be such that households are cut off without an alternative. Nor should the bill be passed on to the resident.
ChristenUnie Eindhoven will not respond to the questions that you have put forward, for the fundamental reason that in this day and age – prior to the elections – you can seduce politicians into making any statement if that will bring in votes in his/her eyes. We are in the council on the oath that we have been elected there without ‘charge or consultation’ and committing ourselves in advance to positions of interest groups feels to us contrary to that principle.
De Piratenpartij is in favour of a city-wide vision for the energy transition. Together with the residents of each neighbourhood, we want to make plans on how to shape this transition in phases. Starting with the neighbourhoods where a start has already been made. Meerhoven is specifically part of this.

We believe that the ‘how’ of energy transition is a technical issue. The role that we see for the municipality is to carefully and timely guide residents both practically and, if necessary, financially.

FVD does not want Meerhoven to be free of natural gas. We want to completely stop this forced ‘energy transition’. It is important to us that residents can decide for themselves whether or not to use natural gas.
The Partij voor de Dieren believes it is essential that we tackle the climate and biodiversity crises together and give them priority. The most important measure for reversing these crises is to reduce our ecological footprint. This calls for a comprehensive approach: one that combines climate plans with measures to preserve and restore biodiversity. We do this together with residents and businesses. This means not only getting rid of the gas, but also focusing on energy-saving measures and choices such as insulation. In addition, sustainable methods of energy generation will have to be used for the energy that is still being used, and efforts will also be made to have more greenery in the streets, on the facade and on the roof. The Partij voor de Dieren wants Eindhoven to become climate-neutral by 2030 at the latest; this means that we will have to take major steps to achieve this, including becoming natural gas-free. Therefore, as soon as we are in the council, we will make every effort to deploy the aforementioned resources as quickly and concretely as possible.
Just like (almost) everyone else, Gewoon Eindhoven is in favour of reducing the dependence on fossil fuels as quickly as possible. Therefore, alternatives should be available that are doable for everyone. Both in terms of life and money. It is crucial that the steps to be taken for Meerhoven that meet these requirements are determined in close cooperation with the residents of Meerhoven. And perhaps with other useful partners. Because so much is currently in motion, it is necessary to ensure, on the one hand, that there is a joint roadmap, but on the other hand, to be as flexible as possible, not to say opportunistic, in the implementation. And every step forward is one, as long as it is ensured that it is robust and allows for follow-up steps.

The following parties did not respond: