Thursday 29 September 2022

Three things to watch out for when choosing an energy company

Photo: Depositphotos

Energy prices have been soaring of late, and many people have been shopping around in an effort to find a cheaper deal because their current contract is expiring.

Whether you are looking for a new deal or are new to the Netherlands and sorting out an energy provider for the first time, here are three things to watch out for.

1.   Type of contract

Since the beginning of 2022, most energy suppliers are only offering variable energy contracts with monthly tariffs. These type of contracts tend to fluctuate a bit each month along with energy prices. They have a one-month contract duration, so you can choose another supplier each month, if you wish.

A popular choice right now are energy companies that offer gas and electricity against wholesale prices. With this type of contract the price can fluctuate per day and per hour, depending on the supply and demand for electricity and gas.

This type of contract could be very interesting for people who are aware of their energy consumption via a smart meter, because they can save a lot money by consuming power during off-peak times.

Our tip: use a comparison website like Energievergelijk.nl to find a suitable energy provider. Unlike most other comparison sites, they offer information in English.

2.   Feed-in tariff for solar panels

Solar panels are an interesting investment in the Netherlands because they are quite cheap when compared to the high electricity prices and because of the benefits  for consumers.

Energy companies are currently required by law to deduct all the power a household feeds back into the electricity grid via solar panels, from the amount of power that it consumes from the grid. This is called salderen in Dutch.

Unfortunately, the regulations are set to change. The percentage of energy that can be claimed back will decrease to 64% in 2025. The remaining 36% will be paid for by the grid company according to a feed-in tariff, also known as solar energy remuneration.

However, the level of remuneration can vary significantly with each supplier. Some suppliers only give you five cents back for every kWh, while others give a full (pre-tax) reimbursement.

So if you (are planning to) have solar panels and are in search of a new supplier, it is definitely smart to look at the feed-in tariffs. An overview of the current payments can be found here.

3.   Real green energy (or not?)

Most Dutch energy companies deliver electricity from renewable sources and CO2-compensated gas. However, the renewable electricity is not always generated in the Netherlands.

Some Dutch energy companies buy Guarantee of Origin (GoO) certificates from power plants outside the Netherlands, such as Norwegian hydropower companies. So it is possible that the ‘green’ electricity you are using is actually not that green.

If you think it is important that your provider delivers green energy from Dutch sources, check out this list of examples:

  • Frank Energie
  • Engie
  • Pure Energie
  • Greenchoice
  • EasyEnergy
  • Vandebron
  • Eneco

Find out here which one of them currently offers contracts to new customers, because some suppliers are no longer accepting new customers, due to the high energy prices.

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