Number of energy suppliers in the Netherlands quadrupled since liberalisation

The number of suppliers of electricity and gas has almost quadrupled since the liberalisation of the Dutch energy market in 2004, according to research by website Energievergelijk.

Before deregulation there were only 12 suppliers for electricity, based in different parts of the country. Now, there are 47 which all want a piece of the cake. In total, 35 companies offer gas and electricity for consumers. The remaining 12 only offer energy contracts to businesses and multinationals.

Energievergelijk has made a convenient infographic that shows all active energy providers in The Netherlands.

Confusion

Each provider offers different types of energy contracts and cashback deals. And with the immense increase in competition, consumers are finding it more difficult than ever to find the cheapest deal.

Comparing energy prices and deals is definitely worthwhile, according to an analysis by the Dutch Consumer and Markets Authority (ACM). It recently pointed out that households can save up to €391 a year by switching energy supplier.  Consumers with a variable rate tariff in particular can save a significant amount on their energy bill.

So, it’s a good idea to run an energy comparison to see if your deal is the best out there for you.

Green energy

If sustainability and the environment are important topics, it may be worthwhile choosing a green energy supplier. Thirty-one out of the 47 companies offer energy from renewable sources, such as wind, solar and biomass.

Photo: Gemini Windpark

Do keep in mind though, that some suppliers buy renewable energy certificates (REC’s) from other European countries, such as Norway or Italy. These firms are not really contributing to renewable energy capacity in the Netherlands.

If you want ‘real’ renewable energy, produced on Dutch soil, you may want to look closely at the electricity label. Several suppliers offer wind energy, produced by Dutch windmills.

Cashback

A large number of the energy suppliers in the Netherlands also work with ‘cashback’ deals. Whenever you choose their energy contract, you will receive cash back at the end of the contractual lifetime.

When comparing rates (in dutch called the: energievergelijker), don’t look just at the actual tariffs for gas and electricity and do take the cashback amount into account. It often pays out to choose a more expensive supplier with a large cashback.

This means you pay a bit more on a monthly base, but you will be more than compensated for this at the end of the contract.


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