Thursday 29 September 2022

Ministers plan energy bill bail out fund, schools sound alarm on costs


Ministers are planning to launch a special fund to help people who cannot pay their soaring energy bills, broadcaster NOS reported on Monday evening.

The plan would allow the government to take over direct payments to energy firms if people are threatened with being cut off, NOS said.

According to some estimates, as many as one million of the Netherlands’ eight million households could face problems in paying their bills as gas prices reach record levels.

The new fund would only be used to help people who had to sign a new energy contract this year or who have a contract with variable costs. The aim, NOS said, is not only to help poorer families but to make sure energy firms don’t go bust because so many of their clients default on their bills.

Despite fears that the fund could be open to abuse, ministers believe speed is important, although they are looking at building in extra checks, NOS reported.

The cabinet hopes to present the finalised plan on Friday as part of a wider package of measures to deal with the impact of energy price hikes.


Meanwhile, the Financieele Dagblad reports that schools which have been told by energy minister Rob Jetten to end their contracts with Russian gas firm Gazprom are facing new contracts costing up to 12 times as much as they were paying.

Jetten said last week that all contracts with Gazprom have to end by October 10 because of EU sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

One school group, representing 70 schools nationwide, has seen its energy bill rise from €1.2 million to €15 million. ‘That is a massive amount of money which is not going into education,’ board member Yvonne Kops told the paper.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.