The cost of living in the Netherlands increases every year because of, well, inflation. 🤷 2022 has been one like no other, and we see this clearly reflected in our ever-increasing energy bills.
So how can you regain control of that pesky piece of paper?
The good news is that even though managing your Dutch utility bills in 2022 has proven to be a different ball game than usual, you can still save on energy costs in the Netherlands.
But let’s first understand why prices have skyrocketed in the first place before we dig into how to bring them down.
READ MORE | Gas, electricity, water and more: the ultimate guide to utilities in the Netherlands
Energy prices are skyrocketing: why?
The Netherlands, and the rest of Europe for that matter, has been in an ever-worsening energy crisis for the past few years.
In 2020, the winter turned out to be colder than usual, and with everyone penned up at home, people turned up the dial on their heaters. This resulted in a greater demand for energy, causing prices to rise. 📈
In 2021, the price hike continued, worsened by fears of diminishing gas stocks. Initially, the increasing costs were mostly felt by companies, but it didn’t take long before the average Dutchie (half a million of them, to be precise) began having trouble paying their energy bills.
This year, international relations haven’t exactly helped the matter. When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the question of Russian energy became even more relevant.
According to a report by De Nederlandsche Bank, “the economic consequences for the Netherlands are most noticeable in the energy prices,” since the war causes “uncertainty concerning energy supply.”
READ MORE | The average Dutch person pays €2 to Russia every day, study finds
The increasing moral motivation for ending the Netherlands’ dependency on Russian gas, coupled with the delightful prospect of a 86% rise in energy bill costs by the end of 2022, has made Dutch policymakers think — fast.
The result? In April, the Dutch government announced that the Netherlands would stop buying Russian gas by the end of 2022. 🙌
As the Netherlands increases its focus on renewable energy and begins importing more LNG (liquified natural gas), the government is also introducing a package of measures to cushion the impacts of the rising prices.
While a relief package is all fine and dandy, what are some measures you can take as an international in the Netherlands to reduce your energy bills? 💸
Psst! The lovely folks at PartnerPete are experts in hooking internationals up with the best utility providers in the Netherlands. They know a thing or two about saving on energy costs and can help you find the best deals — completely in English.
Dutch energy bills: understand your contract
If there’s one thing you understand when you look at your energy bill, it’s that energy prices are rising, and you see it reflected in the sum total of your utility bills.
We also know that in order to understand that frustratingly expensive slip of paper, you spend an unreasonable amount of time translating, googling, and maybe practising one or two Dutch swear words.
Keeping up with energy prices is one thing, but keeping up with Dutch contract language is a whole other ball game. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand how much you’re paying and for what.
READ MORE | How to take control of your Dutch utility bills in 5 simple steps
With continuously climbing energy prices, the most important thing to look at is whether you have a fixed or non-fixed contract.
- With a fixed contract, the price you pay for energy is locked in, meaning you aren’t at the mercy of the market. However, if you want to terminate your contract prematurely, you’ll often have to adhere to a 30-days notice period and might have to pay a fee.
- However, if you have a non-fixed contract, then the costs billed to you are calculated on the running market price. 🏃 In this scenario, we’d probably try to run ourselves — either from our responsibilities or to a new provider. (Please only attempt the latter, though).
As an international, changing energy providers and switching contracts is not always an easy feat. Luckily, we know someone who can help you navigate the Dutch energy market. ⚡
Meet PartnerPete’s ContractCoach
PartnerPete has developed a special service for internationals in the Netherlands that takes a three-pronged approach to tackle Dutch energy costs. Say hello to your very own ContractCoach! Now, what exactly can he do for you?
Firstly, the ContractCoach service offers to translate all the important documents you need to stay on top of your utility bills. Not only does PartnerPete help translate Dutch for non-Dutch-speakers, but they also help to make head and tail of the jargon.
In the Netherlands, it is often beneficial to switch providers once a contract expires. This tends to happen once a year. But what also tends to happen is that people forget to follow up after the contract expires, leaving them stuck with their current provider.
A ContractCoach contacts you once a year to discuss all your various utility contracts, ensuring that you’re happy to stay with your current one or helping you make the switch to another.
If you do decide to switch to a new supplier, PartnerPete’s ContractCoach will ensure that your old one is terminated correctly. The same goes if you’re moving to a new house in the Netherlands.
Bonus feature: Energy Price Alert
As a new and improved feature, PartnerPete’s ContractCoach service now also includes energy price alerts. 🚨
This is perhaps the easiest way to reduce your energy bill in 2022. Anytime the energy rates drop below the one you have in your current contract, PartnerPete will notify you.
What’s more, your ContractCoach will inform you proactively with a better offer than what you’re currently paying.
You can then decide whether to make the switch or not — a thing you, of course, won’t have to do on your own. 🤝
If you want to learn more about ContractCoach, reach out to PartnerPete or check out their website.
What are your biggest challenges when it comes to energy bills in the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments.