Static, variable, or dynamic? Energy customers are now having their doubts as fall approaches

Static, variable, or dynamic?  Energy customers are now having their doubts as fall approaches

Noos News

Although summer will still be very late this week, not everyone will be comfortable with the approaching fall. Do I modify my energy contract, or am I confident that I will be able to get through the cold winter financially if energy prices rise unexpectedly again?

People can choose from fixed, variable and “dynamic” contracts, the latter two being considered the riskiest. “If volatile prices make you nervous, it’s wise to lock in the interest rate for a few years,” says Hans van Kleef, an energy economist from Public Affairs Consulting, a consulting firm. “Then you’ll know where you stand.”

1. What are the gas supplies for this winter?

Much better than it was a year ago. At that time, inventory was 84.6 percent full. It is now approximately 95.3 percent full. At about 500 gigawatt-hours, we use nearly a quarter less gas than we have in recent years. Compared to last year, the situation for consumers and businesses is different day and night.

Because Russia closed the gas tap, people paid the highest price for the new energy contract in August 2022. Prices have now returned to relatively normal levels, albeit still two or three times what they were before the energy crisis.

Nieuwsuur investigated what the gas price will do this winter:

What will the price of gas do this winter?

2. So there is nothing to worry about?

You can’t say that at all. “The situation is different than it was a year ago, but it is not necessarily less worrying,” says energy expert Van Cleef. “It is true that supplies are well stocked, nuclear power plants are staying open longer, coal-fired power plants are still available, and there is more renewable energy. But we continue to make do with less Russian gas. Europe is in constant competition with China and Europe.” India “For energy. When it gets really cold in Europe or Asia, and at worst in both, prices will rise sharply. This is something that has been really underestimated.”

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3. Last year, I made the mistake of taking an expired energy contract. Is this the case now too?

This situation is also completely different. “There is something to choose from again,” Climate and Energy Minister Citén previously told NOS when energy companies started offering one- or three-year fixed energy contracts again. He particularly encouraged consumers to take a hard look at their energy contracts ahead of winter and “make a conscious choice.”

Many households now have a variable energy contract, because energy companies did not dare to offer fixed energy contracts for a long time due to large price fluctuations.

4. Wouldn’t it be better to fix your energy bill?

Energy giants such as Eneco and Vattenfall say they do not want to provide advice on the matter. They refuse because the situation varies from one family to another. “Think about things like financial situation, type of home, family composition, etc.,” Eneko emphasizes.

“Above all, do what you feel comfortable with,” says consultant Van Cleave. “I always compare it to the mortgage interest rate. There are people with monthly payments of up to thirty years. This is no different with energy. If fluctuating rates make you nervous, it’s smart to choose a fixed interest rate for a year. Or so. Longer.”

5. Why should I choose a dynamic contract?

According to the Association of Dynamic Energy Suppliers (VvDE), about 200 thousand households already have a dynamic contract in 2022. At Eneco, about 3% of more than 2 million customers have shown interest in such a contract, says the head of the customer organization, Selina Thorer. Telegraph.

According to Van Cleave, a dynamic contract can be interesting for consumers who are aware of their energy consumption and enjoy actively participating in it. “If the wind blows and the sun shines today, prices will come down and you can get your money back,” he says. “This is part of the awareness of energy efficiency.”

For example, people can run their washing machine or dishwasher or charge their electric bike or car at appropriate times when the price of electricity is low. “Especially if the compensation system is abolished, it could become interesting for people with solar panels. Then you can decide when you will use the generated energy yourself and when you will re-supply it. The downside is that prices can be high in winter.” This must be the case. “It can carry you.”

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