Kissing natural gas goodbye? Homeowner versus tenant perceptions of the transition towards sustainable heat in the Netherlands

Sikke R. Jansma*, Jordy F. Gosselt, Menno D.T. de Jong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
154 Downloads (Pure)


To drastically reduce CO2 emissions and to combat seismic activities, the Dutch government has started down the path towards sustainable heat. This is a major challenge, as 90% of all households must be disconnected from the gas grid. The responsibilities and roles of homeowners and tenants in this transition may differ, which makes it interesting to compare their perceptions. Using a mixed-methods approach, we conducted four focus groups (n = 24) and a survey (n = 1245) in a subsidized and an unsubsidized neighbourhood to explore differences in perceptions of the transition between homeowners and tenants, and the influence of the local context in this regard. Our research shows that homeowners and tenants consider similar themes to be important in the transition towards sustainable heat (focus groups) and that their acceptance of the transition is related to similar predictors, including environmental concerns and trust in the municipality and the civil neighbourhood council (survey). However, the perceptions of these variables differ between homeowners and tenants (survey). Homeowners are less positive about becoming natural gas free, have a stronger wish to be engaged in the transition, are more interested in its various aspects, and have more knowledge about the transition than tenants. Although both groups regard the municipality as the primarily responsible actor in the transition, tenants see the housing corporation as the responsible actor for adjusting their homes and homeowners feel responsible themselves, but doubt whether they have the ability to do so.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101694
JournalEnergy research & social science
Early online date24 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Homeowners vs. tenants
  • Local initiatives
  • Natural gas free
  • Sustainable heat
  • Energy transition


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