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Changes in the obligation to connect to the gas transport network


As of 1 July 2018, the network operator's legal obligation to connect  small consumers to the gas transport network will change (article 10 paragraph 6, under a Gas Act). Art. 10 paragraph 7 includes two situations in which this obligation to connect to small consumers (homes and small businesses) does not apply. This means that in those situations the network operator is not obliged to provide a connection to the gas transport network. However, a network operator only performs statutory duties, so that this change amounts to a connection ban.

No obligation to join unless…


Art. 10, paragraph 7, under a Gas Act stipulates that the connection obligation in art. 10(6)(a) does not apply:


- to the connection of a structure to be built: this refers to new construction.


An exception has been made to this: if a Municipal Executive has designated the area in which this structure is being built as an area where connection to the gas transport network is strictly necessary for compelling reasons of public interest, including social costs and benefits._cc781905-5cde -3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ The Gas Connection Compulsory Area Direction Regulations list a number of structural and temporary situations in which this may be the case. It is up to the Municipal Executive to substantiate in the motivation of the decision that there is a compelling reason of public interest. For an elaboration of this, see below under “Schematic area designation order art. 10(7)(a) Gas Act”. 


No connection obligation, if…

Art. 10, paragraph 7, under b Gas Act stipulates that the connection obligation in art. 10(6)(a) does not apply:


- in areas where a gas transport network is present, and,

- a municipal executive has designated the area as an area where there is or will be a heat network as referred to in Article 1, first paragraph, of the Heat Act, or another energy infrastructure that can meet the expected heat requirement.


This means that not much needs to change for existing buildings for the time being. A “Factsheet for gas connection obligation for new construction” specially prepared for this purpose by the Ministries of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and Economic Affairs states the following: “A network operator has a contract with the connected party for an existing connection, which is not affected by this bill. If a new connection is requested in the designated area, for example because of boilers or house splitting, the network operator may not realize these connections. This also applies when a new connection is requested as a result of a change in function of a building.”. 



Scheme area designation decision  article 10 paragraph 7 sub a Gas Act


The flowchart incorporates the situations that may give cause to allow natural gas in a certain area: situations that involve a compelling reason of public interest. As mentioned, these are included in the Gas Connection Obligation Area Direction Regulations. The Municipal Executive must (on request  on its own initiative) take a so-called area designation decision. The diagram first shows the temporary situations (until 1 January 2019) that may give rise to this (art. 2 of the Regulation). These situations have been included in order to prevent delays in housing production. This is followed by the structural situations (art. 1 of the Regulation). The conditions are included for each situation. The area designation decision must contain substantiation/motivation showing that this situation exists (which then demonstrates that there is a compelling reason of public interest that makes a connection to the gas transport network strictly necessary)._cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_ 




These situations can lead to an area designation, which is not mandatory!

It is not the intention that areas are designated in advance by the Municipal Executive. This is not in line with the law (see the Explanatory Notes to the Regulation, p. 7: It is only possible to make a decision with a view to specific projects or locations where one or more structures to be built are being realised. If a project has a contains a large number of structures, it is reasonable to assess whether it is necessary to deviate for the entire project or the entire location Designating (parts of) municipalities in advance is not in line with the law.


Situations other than the specific situations listed in the Regulation may also give rise to an area designation because there are compelling reasons of public interest that make a connection to the gas transport network strictly necessary. 


The situations are not cumulative in nature. 

Pay attention to the substantiation/motivation of the decision (handholds are provided for this in the Regulations and Explanatory Notes).


The area designation decision is an appealable decision: objection and appeal or only appeal if the uniform public preparatory procedure of Section 3.4 of the General Administrative Law Act has been declared applicable by the Municipal Executive.


If a request for an area designation decision is submitted and the Municipal Executive decides not to take an area designation decision: that decision also concerns an appeal label decision.










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