Time to tighten those purse strings yet again. Experts predict that around 5.5 million Dutch households will have to deal with a significantly increased utility bill as of July 1.
Energy specialist Tomas Bleker from Pricewise — a Dutch energy comparison website, tells RTL Nieuws that variable utility rates are expected to increase by 25%. This will cost consumers an extra €160 per year on average.
The situation is even worse for those who are nearing the end of their contract with fixed utility rates. Those individuals will pay on average €400 more per year.
In the Netherlands, there are currently 3.5 million households with variable rates, and two million households with a fixed contract that is about to expire.
Dutch energy contracts
You can choose between fixed and variable energy rates when signing a deal with your energy provider. Most variable rates then change approximately every six month — on January 1 and July 1.
On the other hand, when you get a fixed contract, the price of energy remains the same for the whole duration of your contract.
Fixed-rate-contracts are usually cheaper in the long run, so that’s what many consumers opted for last year, when the energy prices were low, explains Bleker.
However, many of these contracts were closed in April, May, and June for the duration of one year, meaning that they just expired.
If you do nothing when your fixed-rate-contract expires, you will automatically start paying the variable rates. The difference between what households with fixed rates paid until now and what they will have to pay from July 1 is therefore pretty stark.
Why this sudden increase in prices?
Believe it or not, we can thank coronavirus for this inconvenience as well. As coronavirus restrictions begin to lift and the economy bounces back, there’s now a higher demand for gas and electricity — especially in, for example, shops and offices. As a result, prices on the energy market have skyrocketed in recent months.
The chilly weather this spring also didn’t exactly help with lowering our gas and electricity consumption, and prices of CO2 emission allowances have gone up as well.
Bleker expects that prices on the energy market will remain high and thinks that this will probably lead to another price increase for consumers as of January 1, 2022.
Will the new price increase affect you? Tell us in the comments below!
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