Huge energy bill increase: Dutch cabinet admits miscalculations
This year, households can expect to pay an average of 334 euros more for the same amount of energy used as last year. This increase is more than double the previous government estimate of 150 euros.
Dutch ministry blunder
According to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, energy estimates for this year were based on outdated figures from the 2017 National Energy Study (NEV) created by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL). The Ministry thus calculated energy use based on figures which greatly underestimated household use. One PvdA MP remarked that “this undermines the trust of civilians in the government”.
According to a new report by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), annual energy bills will increase to 2.074 euros on average this year, 334 euros more than in 2018. To arrive at this number, CBS assumes an average energy use of 3.000 kWh of electricity and 1.500 cubic metres of natural gas per household. The Dutch cabinet’s calculations only took into account 2.500 kWh of electricity and 1.100 cubic metres of gas.
Energy bills in the Netherlands skyrocket
The price increase is due to the rise in market prices for gas and electricity, good for about 150 euros, and the increase of tax and VAT on energy, resulting in a price rise of more than 150 euros. The increase of market prices is due to, amongst other things, higher levies on CO2, cutbacks on gas extraction in Groningen and an increase in household contribution to sustainable energy subsidies of 50 euros.
On Prince’s Day last year, the government presented purchasing power figures for 2019. These figures showed a positive increase of an estimated 1,6 percent on average. However, due to the huge jump in energy prices, the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB) is now researching whether or not the figures need to be adjusted. The CPB’s report will be published at the start of March.