Energy bill talks continue and a price cap is up for discussion, minister confirms

Photo: Depositphotos
Photo: Depositphotos

Ministers are currently in talks with energy companies about measures to keep bills affordable and that could include a price cap, climate minister Rob Jetten told MPs during a debate on Thursday evening.

A price cap is just one of the ideas on the table and ‘we do not have the luxury of being able to exclude some measures’, Jetten said. ‘We are looking at all suggestions, but they do have to be practical.’

Earlier, it was reported that ministers are also looking at setting up a special fund which would take over the energy bills of families who are struggling to make payments.

Ministers hope to conclude the talks on Monday, ahead of the presentation of the government’s 2023 spending plans on Tuesday.

The government is also looking at introducing legislation which would make it an offence to cut off clients who do not pay their bills. ‘However,’ Jetten said, ‘energy firms are concerned about their clients as well, and I don’t think that I need a formal ban.’

Representatives from two of the biggest energy firms operating in the Netherlands – Eneco and Vattenfall – told MPs earlier this week that they are open to taking measures to return ‘excessive’ profits made because of the enormous price hikes back to consumers.

On Wednesday the European Commission published plans to cream off some revenue from low-cost electricity generators and make fossil fuel firms share windfall profits.

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