The government on Tuesday published more details about its planned energy price cap and it looks as if consumers will benefit more than thought earlier.
Ministers have not only expanded the amount of electricity covered by the price cap but have reduced the maximum price which companies can charge. The plan covers private households and small users such as shops and social organisations.
The new price cap for electricity has been reduced from 70 to 40 cents per kWh including taxes, and the volume increased from 2,400 kWh to 2,900 kWh. Ministers hope this means that people who opted to ditch gas and switched to heat pumps will no longer be disadvantaged.
The gas cap has now been set at €1.45 per m3 including taxes, down five cents on the earlier figure. There is no increase in the amount of gas covered by the cap, which remains 1,200 m3.
The current market price for electricity is around 83 cents per kWh, and for gas €3.66 per m3. ‘This is a big boost for many households in the Netherlands, who were already counting on price increases of several hundred euros per month this winter,’ said Bart Koenraadt from Energievergelijk.nl.
Anti-poverty campaigners and MPs had criticised the earlier version of the plan, saying it would not help people on low incomes living in poorly insulated social housing or poorer families.
Low income households will also be able to apply for an additional €1,300 in help to pay their energy bills next year, ministers said.
The price ceiling will cover 2023 in its entirety and households will be given a €190 per month discount on their bills in November and December 2022.
Compensation for small firms, such as bakers, which have also been hit hard by rising energy prices is still being finalised.
According to broadcaster NOS, the small firm cap will apply to companies in which energy bills account for at least 3% of turnover, to make sure only energy intensive companies benefit.
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