05 April 2022, by Victoria Séveno

According to calculations made by ABN AMRO, energy bills for households in the Netherlands were 20 percent higher on average in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period last year. 

Dutch households now spend 20 percent more on energy

Recent figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) revealed that inflation reached 11,9 percent in March, with the price of gas and electricity rising by 103 percent over the past 12 months. Research conducted by one prominent Dutch bank has shown that this staggering price increase has already translated into a significant rise in prices for consumers.

According to figures published by ABN AMRO on Tuesday, families and households in the Netherlands have seen their energy bills rise by an average of 20 percent between the beginning of 2021 and the first three months of 2022 – but researchers say this figure will only rise over the coming months. 

“It seems that higher gas prices are slowly filtering through to consumers’ energy payments and will therefore gradually contribute more negatively to consumers’ purchasing power over time,” the bank explains. Researchers say that some of the financial measures put in place by the Dutch government will help to combat this in the short term, but that the government should instead focus on encouraging households to become more energy efficient.

Increasing number of families in the Netherlands face energy poverty

While this news is worrying for many, ABN notes that energy bills vary significantly from household to household. The majority of Dutch citizens have a minimum of a 12-month contract with their energy supplier, meaning they have faced limited changes to their energy bills – in fact, some have even seen their rates drop over the past year thanks to mild weather this winter. 

On the other hand, around 40 percent of Dutch households have a variable contract, which means they face changing rates as the prices of gas and electricity fluctuate throughout the year. Furthermore, anyone who changed energy suppliers in the first three months of this year saw their energy bills rise by an average of 25 percent.

As energy prices continue to rise as a result of the ongoing war in Ukraine, ABN AMRO predicts that low-income households will soon be forced to spend as much as 13 percent of their salary on gas and electricity, meaning they fall into the so-called energy poverty bracket.

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