07 February 2023, by Victoria Séveno
As the Dutch government launches a brand new fund to help low-income households cover their energy bills, the first major energy supplier in the Netherlands has announced that, from April 2023, customers will see a notable decrease in their rates for gas and electricity.
Vattenfall reducing gas and electricity prices from April 1
As of April 1, 2022, the 1,3 million Vattenfall customers with a variable contract will see their gas and electricity rates fall significantly, with the company announcing on Tuesday morning that it’s set to “halve” its prices in the spring as a result of falling gas prices – although Vattenfall does note that its base rates will remain above the government’s price cap.
From April, including VAT and the tax rate on energy, customers will pay 0,48 euros per kilowatt hour of electricity, and 1,83 euros per cubic metre of gas. While around 80 percent of Vattenfall’s customers reportedly keep consumption below the cap set by the government (1.200 cubic meters of gas and 2.400 kilowatt hours of electricity), the reduced rates will only apply to usage above this limit.
As one of the largest energy suppliers in the Netherlands, Vattenfall’s move to reduce its variable rates as of April is a significant one, and is likely indicative of what customers at other companies can expect over the coming weeks. Vattenfall’s rates will be in effect for at least three months.
Dutch government sets up energy fund for low-income households
The news comes as the Dutch government takes further steps to help households cover the high cost of gas and electricity. On February 7, the cabinet announced that its Temporary Emergency Fund for Energy (Tijdelijk Noodfonds Energie) was in operation, offering financial support to low-income households.
From Tuesday, families and individuals who are unable to pay their high bills are able to apply for financial aid via the fund, which is available to help cover the cost of bills between October 2022 and March 2023.
In order to be eligible for financial assistance, households must earn a gross income of no more than 200 percent of the statutory social minimum (i.e. the minimum income you need in order to live), which amounts to a maximum of 2.980 euros per month for a single-person household, or 3.794 euros for a multi-person household. Furthermore, depending on the total salary, the household’s energy bill must be more than 10 to 13 percent of the (joint) gross income.
Thumb: Jeppe Gustafsson via Shutterstock.com.