Energy prices in the Netherlands are set to reach unaffordable levels
Families in the Netherlands face rising energy costs
“A year ago, an average four-person household paid 507 euros for gas and light, excluding taxes and levies,” Sanne de Jong-Bins, from comparison shopping site Gaslicht.com, told Het Parool. “Now, that is 1.229 euros - almost two and a half times more.”
Gaslicht.com predicts energy bills will continue to rise over the coming months, with Jong-Bins calculating that, at this rate, the average family will have to fork over an additional 550 euros a year purely to cover gas and electricity bills.
Dutch energy companies have confirmed that this price hike is here to stay, with Vattenfall saying the trend can be observed across Europe. But what’s the reason for the sudden and significant increase in price?
Natural gas shortage leads to price hike across Europe
Market analyst Rick Marsman attributes the rising prices to a major gas shortage across the continent, pointing out that the price of natural gas determines energy rates. According to him, the shortage can be traced back to various factors, namely that 2021 brought an unusually cold winter and spring, but maintenance work across Europe also means less gas has been extracted this year.
In addition to this, a change in Dutch law in July saw variable energy rates increase by 25 percent compared to 2020, and new rules meant that anyone who didn’t have a smart meter installed in their home saw a hike in their bills, as the cap on their nightly rates was lifted.
Gaslicht.com and the National Institute for Family Finance Information (Nibud), as well as a number of debt counsellors, have voiced concern about the rising prices and the effect of the increase in monthly costs for many households. With the rising cost of rent and healthcare, rising energy costs are the final nail in the coffin for many earning an average salary. Pressure is now being placed on the Dutch government to tackle the growing crisis.