How to: The Dutch energy market

Expats buying or renting a house in the Netherlands will probably have to arrange an energy supplier. In this article you will find everything you need to know about the Dutch energy market.

Liberalisation of the Dutch energy market

Before 2004, consumers in the Netherlands were not able to choose their own energy supplier - everything was organised by the central government.

However, in 2004, the energy market was liberalised, and it’s now possible for different commercial businesses to "sell" energy and for consumers to choose their own energy supplier.

Competition & Customer relations

Because of the liberalisation of the energy market, new businesses entered the market and nowadays there are many different energy suppliers. Consumers can choose the one they like best or that has the best prices.

Thus, the energy suppliers have to focus on clients more than ever before. This means that they keep offering lower prices and that customer relationships became more important.

Obligatory acceptance

Apparently, energy is an essential part of daily living. All energy suppliers are therefore obliged by law to accept new customers. Whenever you have outstanding debts, the suppliers are allowed to ask you for a deposit.

Control by the Government

The Dutch Government makes sure that energy suppliers don`t get too big or powerful. In order to check this, a special unit within the Dutch Competition Authority was established in order to monitor if consumers really have the freedom to choose and whether the offers are good.

Regional operator

There is a difference between the energy supplier and the distribution network operator. The latter is responsible for all electricity and gas connections and for the transport of energy in a certain region.

As a consumer you can choose you own energy supplier but your regional operator is always the same!

Dutch energy contracts

There are many different energy contracts which vary in length, customer service and price. Usually the duration of most contracts is one year but more than one year is also possible.

There are also contracts for an indefinite period of time. This type of contract may be useful when you’re an expat and you don`t know for how long you are staying. If you are staying for less then one year this contract is a good option too.

You can always end a contract with an indefinite period of time. However, with a contract for a certain period of time you have to pay a penalty for early termination. Note that all types of contracts demand a notice period of 30 days.

How to find an energy supplier in the Netherlands

The easiest way is to find your energy supplier online. As expected, you can also immediately arrange the contract on the Internet.

Bart Beekhuizen is the owner of the independent energy comparison service Visit the English section, compare all available energy suppliers and find the one that suits your needs best!


Bart Beekhuizen


Bart Beekhuizen

We provide a free price comparison website for energy. We support all questions regarding energy(bills) etc. Support is in English

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