Saturday 22 January 2022

Homes with district heating systems may still be hit by higher gas bills

New housing is not connected to the gas grid. Photo: Depositphotos.com

People whose homes are connected to district heating systems may still have to pay higher energy bills, even though their homes are not connected to the gas grid, junior economic affairs minister Dilan Yesilgoz has confirmed to MPs.

Legislation covering district heating schemes, where hot air is pumped into houses from either local generators or factories, states that companies running the systems cannot charge more for heating than people with traditional heating systems would pay.

The maximum amount is fixed every year by consumer authority ACM – and was around €1,141 excluding taxes last year, according to the Telegraaf.

The maximum was introduced to protect users from too high bills,  but now district heating companies are setting their fees as close to the maximum as possible, the paper said.

With gas prices are soaring, the ACM is likely to put up the maximum sharply on January 1. And home owners association VEH is worried that people with district heating will also face sharply higher bills, even though they don’t have gas in their homes.

Furthermore, they currently have no alternative to city heating systems and cannot switch to a cheaper provider, the Telegraaf pointed out.

The paper says some 500,000 households in the Netherlands are now connected to district heating systems and that is set to rise to 1.2 million by 2030.

Yesilgoz did point out to MPs that everyone, including city heating users, will benefit from the cut in energy taxes being brought in next year, which will amount to around €400 for the average household.

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