Utilities providers in the Netherlands
So, you got the keys for your new home in the Netherlands. Congratulations! One of the most important things you will need to setup are the Utilities. Unlike few other countries, some of the utilities in the Netherlands are privatized – meaning you can choose a provider yourself. This can be good news if you understand how things work or terrible news because you have to do all the hard work. But do not worry – this article will help you make an informed decision.
You will typically need providers of electricity, water, and sometimes gas (depending on the area you live in). In some areas, you will have district heating (Stadsverwarming) instead of gas. Water providers and district heating providers are usually fixed depending on the area you live in and you as a consumer do not have a choice here – so, one less thing to worry about 😊
For the other providers, there is plenty of choice available. Some of the most popular providers for electricity and gas are Essent, Greenchoice, Budget Energie.
How do Energy providers work
The Energy provider in consultation with you will come with a “fixed” monthly amount that you will pay – this is based on an estimate of your usage. If you are new to your home and you are not aware of your usage, the provider will use a previous estimate. At the end of the year, your provider will send you an annual invoice (jaarnota) with your actual usage and the difference amount you have to pay (or receive).
How do you choose
Energy providers can be confusing in terms of what they offer and it can be quite a challenge to choose the right one.
There are many comparison (vergelijken) websites like https://www.independer.nl/, https://www.energievergelijk.nl/ etc. You simply have to enter your address and they provide you a list of providers with their quotes. Keep in mind that these websites do not compare all providers. If you have a quote from another provider and would like to compare, keep reading!
What should you actually compare before choosing the right provider
The price breakdown of the quotes will show different components:
- Energiebelasting and Opslag Duurzame Energie are government levies on your consumption of electricity and gas. These will remain the same irrespective of the provider. So, you may safely ignore these during your comparison.
- Vermindering energiebelasting is a reduction on your energy tax. This is also determined by the government every year. This will remain the same irrespective of the provider. So, you may safely ignore this during your comparison.
- Netbeheerkosten is the same irrespective of the provider. It is determined by your meter company every year. Again, you may safely ignore this during your comparison.
That brings us down to just three things you need to compare:
- Leveringstarief normaal is the Delivery rate per kWh of usage during day-time.
- Leveringstarief dal is the Delivery rate per kWh of usage during night-time (the exact timings can vary depending on the area you live in). This rate is typically lower than the normaal rate.
- Vaste leverings kosten is the Fixed Delivery costs per month.
Only if you have a smart electricity meter (dubbele or slimme meter) installed at your address, you can make use of the two different delivery rates (Leveringstarief normaal and Leveringstarief dal). If you do not have a smart meter, then you can get a single Delivery rate (Leveringstarief).
Tip: Having a smart meter can save you money. As the Delivery rates during night-time are lower, it can be beneficial to use the washing machine during these hours. Now, that’s one money saving tip for you 😊
In addition, many providers also provide Welcome bonuses and/or cashback offers if you stay with them for a certain period of time. Always take these into consideration before making a decision.
Comparison websites like independer also show a Durability indicator for every quote. Providers supply “Green” or “Gray” electricity/gas. Greener the better for the environment!
Due to the large number of Energy providers, there is healthy competition in the market and the providers try to attract you with their offers. Many people switch providers every year (or two) to take benefit of the lower prices and/or cashback offers. Do take your time to compare and switch if it makes sense!
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