The Council of Ministers is heading for energy compensation for millions of families: “Most of the country’s benefits” are policy

The Council of Ministers is heading for energy compensation for millions of families: “Most of the country’s benefits” are policy

An emergency package to ease the exploding energy bill should help the majority of the Netherlands. Today’s coalition summit talked about a compensation scheme under which families would pay a lower price for the average consumption of electricity and gas.

Niels Claassen and Tony van der Mee

Last updated:
09-18-22, 21:54

On Sunday, the Ministry of Finance held talks for hours about an emergency plan for high energy bills. The concerned ministers and the leaders of the coalition factions considered the calculated options.

They are striving for a compensation scheme in which families get a significant discount on the average consumption of electricity and gas, for example 1,200 cubic meters of gas and 2,500 kWh of electricity per year. Until that limit is reached, people will pay the price that was applied to the invasion of Ukraine at the beginning of this year. Anything above that should be settled at the higher market price. Then there is an incentive not to over-consume. “If you also heat your sauna and pool, you pay more,” said a source from The Hague.

The scheme would preferably go into effect this fall, the insider said, although smaller energy companies in particular appear unable to tackle this technically and administratively complex process. Another insider says: “The energy giants say: ‘We can do this from November, the little ones need more time. We’ll discuss this more tomorrow.'”

Details about the amounts and price ceiling can still be changed, but the goal is to strike a blow on Monday: “Hopefully it goes well.” The compensation package is worth several billion euros, depending on the timing and the exact height of the price ceiling.

“But the bottom line is that a lot of people are going to pay a lot less for their energy.” This emergency package would then come on top of previous Cabinet compensation plans. In total, this alliance will allocate 16 billion euros next year to mitigate the decline in prosperity, and an energy package will be added to that.

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The need is high. Politicians fear that energy prices rose last year and could rise further. Central Planning Bureau (CPB) account For summer That between 670,000 and 1.2 million families would not be able to pay their fixed costs if prices remained high. Middle-income earners are increasingly feeling the current crunch in their portfolios.

No one in the cold

The government wants to prevent homes with electricity and gas cuts at any cost because they can no longer pay their bills. Minister Rob Gaten (Climate and Energy, D66) and Minister Carola Scotten (Poverty Reduction, Christinoy) are having “intense discussions” with energy companies on this topic. “We don’t want literally anyone to be left out in the cold,” Gettin said earlier.

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“We all want to ensure we help the people most affected by the price hike.” In a lecture this afternoon, Gettin announced that he wants to force energy companies as well to offer long-term contracts at fixed rates. Gas and electricity suppliers must then offer contracts of one year or longer, so that customers have longer certainty about the tariff.

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