Shopping around cuts energy bills: FD

Consumers could save several hundred euros a year by shopping around for gas and electricity following the sharp rise in energy prices last month, reports Monday’s Financieele Dagblad.

The figures are based on a half-year overview of around 330 fixed and variable energy contracts provided by over 20 suppliers to Prizewize which compares consumer prices.
Some energy suppliers increased their prices by 60% in the first six months of the year, the paper says.
Smaller discounters face the biggest problem because they do not generate electricity themselves and have no assets to cover risky transactions, Prizewize director Hans de Klok tells the paper.
Their prices are now not much cheaper than the standard 0.08 euros per kilowatt hour charged by most suppliers, the paper reports.
High energy prices are being blamed for pushing up the country’s inflation rate. Last week the national statistics office said inflation rose above 3% for the first time in five years and said the rise was mainly due to higher energy costs.
Energy costs for an average Dutch household have risen 8% to €1,869, some €144 more than a year ago, according to figures published on Monday by the national statistics office CBS.
Gas costs in particular have risen considerably in the last year, the CBS says.
Most energy suppliers announced earlier this year that they would increase prices from July 1 as a result of higher world oil prices.
Meanwhile Essent, the country’s biggest energy concern, has confirmed that it is to cut 500 jobs in the coming 18 months, reports ANP news service Essent has 10,000 employees in the Netherlands. On Friday the company announced a 4% fall in first half year profits.

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