Energy-neutral and affordable homes for first-time buyers

Published: 11 October 2018Modified: 11 October 2018

The starting shot was given for the construction of the first affordable energy-neutral DIY house for first-time homeowners. The initial ground loops are being drilled in order to heat and cool the homes.

The 23 homes in Ypenburg, which will be completed at the end of 2019, will get an energy system that should lead to zero energy use on an annual basis, or ‘Nul op de Meter’. First-time homeowners can soon live in their own home at monthly costs comparable to public housing.

Affordable and sustainable

The basic idea for this project is that no gas or district heating would be available for the homes. Purchasers of the plots have looked into alternative sources of energy themselves. This was a challenge for first-time home buyers with a limited budget. Ikbouwbetaalbaar and the Municipality of The Hague went in search of an affordable solution for these buyers. Eteck will lease a power generation installation to the home buyers for a price they can manage. This will provide the purchasers of plots with an advanced solution, resulting in a zero energy home.  

Zero energy homes

A zero energy home means that the solar panels generate as much energy annually as is needed to heat the home and to provide hot water, plus normal household use of lamps and electric appliances.  The homes will be provided with ground loops, a heat pump and boiler, underfloor heating and solar panels. The ground loops ensure that in the summer the heat is stored in the ground for use the following winter and in the winter the cold is stored in the ground for use in the summer. A heat pump extracts the heat from the ground to heat the house and tap water. Solar panels provide the electricity for the heat pump.

DIY for starters

Ikbouwbetaalbaar is a municipal subsidy to enable first-time home buyers (starters) earning an annual income of € 30,000 to € 38,500 to build a home themselves.

More information can be found at

First energy-neutral and affordable homes for first-time buyers
First energy-neutral and affordable homes for first-time buyers