Big energy firms have begun warning their customers with variable contracts about next year’s gas and electricity fees and many will face higher bills, news website Nu.nl has reported.
The increase in prices is due to unease in the international gas markets and an increase in the gas tax which the government is implementing from January. In addition, the government’s price ceiling on energy bills will also expire.
The government is putting up the gas tax to stimulate people to switch to electricity, but this may change depending on the outcome of the government coalition talks. The upper house of parliament also still has to approve the plan, and is due to vote in December.
The increase in tax on gas will at 11 cents to the price of a cubic metre, of around €11 a month for the average user, according to research by comparison website Energievergelijk.nl. In addition, the price ceiling of €1.45 per cubic metre for up to 1,200 cubic metres of gas a year expires in January.
The cost of electricity is likely to fall a little next year for customers on variable tariffs and both Vattenvall and Essent say they will be well below the ceiling of €0.40 for up to 2,900 kWh.
Some four million people in the Netherlands have a variable contract but an increasing number are switching to a fixed fee system. And according to research by Essent, some 25% of people do not realise the price cap will be lifted next year.
“The removal of the energy price cap in January 2024 marks a significant challenge for Dutch households, with rising gas prices driven by market instability and increased taxes,” said Koen Kuijper from energievergelijk.nl. This highlights the urgency for consumers to reassess their energy contracts”.
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