Due to the significant rise in energy expenses in the Netherlands, it is expected that you, as a prospective homeowners, will be more conscientious when assessing the energy bill associated with your purchase. Rutger from Waltmann Makelaars explains everything you need to know about energy costs in the Netherlands.
An energy-efficient house will provide you with more financial leeway, especially if costs will continue to go up over the next few years. Furthermore, an energy certificate will tell you a lot about the costs you may incur from living in a certain property.
How to find out if a house is energy-efficientThose who are selling a house are required to provide the buyer with the definitive energy certificate (or energielabel) of the property. This is different from the provisional certificate, which every house in the Netherlands is granted. The provisional version is an estimate based on a few factors, such as the year in which the house was built.
An energy consultant (energieadviseur) can help sellers to acquire a definitive energy certificate for their house.
Energy certificate ratingAn energy certificate can be rated from letters A – G, with the most energy-efficient houses having a rating of A++++ and the least sustainable houses a rating of G.
Twice as expensiveWhen buying a house with an unfavourable energy certificate, keep in mind the high costs that may come with it. Firstly, the energy costs will already be high and if you would want to make the house more sustainable, you must take the necessary investment costs into account.
Secondly, it is expected that there will be a further rise in energy costs, even after the war in Ukraine. This is because fossil fuels will be made more expensive, so that the revenue can be used to invest in sustainability. This way, you are more or less forced to become more sustainable.
Look into the energy consumption of the current ownersIf you are seriously interested in buying a house, you should enquire with the seller about the monthly energy costs. But make sure to also look beyond this monthly bill as it’s quite possible that the owners still have an energy contract with a lower rate which they secured years ago, for a specified period.
In addition, you can ask them about how much gas and electricity they use annually. This will allow you to calculate what the energy companies are currently charging. Of course, the power consumption of the present owners does not tell you the complete story about the energy costs that you can expect.
For example, do you usually turn up the heating by two degrees more, compared to the current owners? Then your energy bill will be quite different. Nevertheless, it will give you a good indication of the energy costs for the property that you’re interested in.
Sustainability planWhen buying a house with an energy label that needs to be improved, you need a financial plan. Before buying, you should already have a pretty clear picture of how much you still need to invest in the house.
Make an estimate of the costs and discuss it with the energy consultant. For example, if you plan to insulate the roof, facade and floors, this may result in a much lower energy bill. If you have clarity about these sorts of things beforehand, there is a much lower risk that you will be faced with high and / or unexpected energy costs after purchasing the house.
You may be entitled to a subsidy from the Dutch government to make your home more sustainable – your real estate agent will be able to tell you more about this subsidy.
Waltmann Makelaars specialises in housing for expats in the Utrecht area. If you have any questions about buying or renting property or have any questions regarding energy consumption, please feel free to call +31 30 231 3035 or email [email protected].