This is evidenced by a tour of the RTL Z along the major energy suppliers. Budget consultant Nybod is concerned because people have to put off problems.
200 euros per month is very little
At Vattenfall, which has two million customers in the Netherlands, about 10 percent of customers have a “very low monthly amount,” a spokesperson said. “These clients need an average increase of 200 euros per month.”
The financial consequences of this are clear: When the annual settlement comes along, they will still receive the underpaid amount on their board at once. If you have paid €200 less than necessary per month for a year, you must pay an additional €2,400 at the end of the contract year.
Set the monthly amount
The monthly amount you pay to your power supplier is usually calculated annually based on the consumption in the previous year. You can adjust this up or down yourself. This way you can be sure that you are not paying too much or too little. This can come in handy: If you save a lot because you cut, for example, you’re likely to use less than estimated up front, and then you can also pay less during the year.
But many people are now keeping the monthly amount that matches much lower rates in recent years. They probably pay very little per month. At the end of the year, you have to match the difference between what you have already paid and what you have already used. If you paid too much, you will get your money back.
Eneco also says that there is a group that chooses – whether out of necessity or not – a very low monthly amount, despite warnings from the energy supplier. “Spending the month financially can be a solution, but be careful,” the spokesperson warns. Otherwise, you will receive an additional tax assessment and will have to pay a large amount of money. “
For clients who cannot pay the “real” monthly installments, the company advises making a payment arrangement rather than waiting for a major setback. Eneco is also seeing an increase in the number of cases where direct debit doesn’t work due to insufficient funds in the account. The spokesperson said that it is still too early to say clearly what this means for the financial status of the client in question, but that it may indicate financial concerns.
The real tap is yet to come
It is also clear that financial concerns are rising at Essent. Although the company says that the number of people with payment problems has not increased yet, people who already have a payment arrangement have an increased amount owed. At Vattenfall, the number of customers with a payment arrangement has already increased dramatically, by 30 percent in one year.
But Essent also anticipates that the real hit is yet to come for many customers. “We expect the end of the year and certainly the beginning of next year to cause more problems. From then on, there will be more people at a variable rate and people will also be in higher energy prices for a year,” a company spokesperson explains. .
“Now people can still leave their monthly amount, but when the annual settlement comes along, it suddenly becomes clear that they have to pay more.”
Nypod is very concerned about this, and says it’s not a good option for many people. “People who are already having a hard time making ends meet cannot increase their monthly amount,” explains director Arjan Vliegenthart. He continues: They postpone the pain, then consider turning off the heating in the winter.
“Simple tips for this group, they are no longer available,” says Fligenthart. “They are already starting to cut back on basic expenses. A more structural solution has to be found in partnership with energy suppliers, government and housing companies.” “You can’t leave this to individual families. The puzzle is made up of very few pieces.”
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