44 per cent of Dutch consumers have variable energy contracts. Their prices change twice a year, on January 1 and July 1. Opinions differ on what they can do best.
Price comparison Gaslicht.com advises these families to sign a one-year contract. Owner Woldring says: “Winter is coming and with it the demand for energy will increase even more. I dare put my hand in the fire for variable rates to rise to the sky.” “With a one-year contract, you have financial security, but at the same time you have the flexibility to work on changes in the market. If the government decides to open the gas tap in Groningen again, it will bring down energy prices. Be glad you didn’t fit for long. Three years “.
The Consumers Association advises consumers not to choose an annual contract. “We may have a mild winter and it won’t be so bad as prices go up,” spokeswoman Joyce Donut said. “The variable rates that are currently in effect are set on July 1 and remain fixed until January 1. If your contract expires in the meantime, it’s best to stick with the variable rate. Then you’re reasonably good until January 1 and determine in mid-December whether you make a permanent contract. Or I continued to use the variable rate.”
In this video, reporter Olivia Manders explains why the energy bill is so high and will remain so for now:
The situation is slightly different for the 56 percent of households with a permanent contract. If your contract expires within the next three months, it may be worth signing a new contract. In most cases, this can be done up to 90 days in advance. Let’s say your current contract expires on December 15, Woldring explains, you can actually enter into a contract that will take effect on December 16 at the rates currently in effect.
Many consumers are concerned about ever-increasing energy prices, according to the information institute Knipod. The hardest hit are people who are already short of cash. Principal Arjan Fligenthart says they often live in “window houses” that are poorly insulated and don’t have the financial resources to invest in solar panels or heat pumps.
The government is on the move
“Installing LED lighting and dealing with weathering pays off relatively quickly, and people with little to no spending would be better off investing in solar panels, but I think we have to be careful not to put this issue on the plate for the individual consumer,” says Vliegenthart.
“It’s the government’s turn. Clarity is desperately needed among homeowners, while housing associations want to know how to make the trade-off between renovation and sustainability and building new homes. If there is a lack of perspective, people will do nothing. We cannot expect people to buy Heat pump on its own.
Information organization Milieu Centraal says insulating your home is the best thing you can do right now. “But even if you have less money to spend, there are opportunities to lower your energy bill.”
Five tips from Milieu Centraal:
- Take a shorter bath. The average Dutchman showers five times a week for nine minutes at a time. Milieu Centaal says it can be done in less time and with less frequency.
- Keep windows and doors closed so that all the heat is not dissipated.
- Wear a warm jacket indoors. “Then the thermostat can also be lowered,” says Milieu Centraal. “You have to keep yourself warm, not your furniture.”
- Set the thermostat to low in the evening, but not too low. “For example, 19 to 18 degrees an hour before bed and 17 degrees as soon as you go to bed. The next morning you can raise the temperature a little.”
- Only heat the rooms in which you are staying. “So there’s not your bedroom(s) and attic room, where you can no longer come because the homework advice has expired.”
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