Energy firms moderate gas price hikes, Essent bills to rise by around €17.50

Essent, the Netherlands’ biggest energy company in terms of client numbers, expects to put up bills by around €17.50 per month because of soaring gas prices.

Competitor Vattenfall said earlier it expects customers with an average bill to face an extra €25 a month charge. Eneco, the third big Dutch player, has not yet announced its new fees.

The increases are less than had been predicted when the scale of the surge in gas prices became clear. This is partly down to the cut in energy taxes which the government has brought in on a temporary basis.

Without this, Essent says, the increase would have been an average of €55 more a month.

Both Essent and Vattenfall have advised customers to stay with the provider they are currently with, despite the increases.

‘New prices are always higher than old contracts,’ Essent commercial director Boudewijn den Helder said. ‘And keep a good eye on how much energy you are using, to prevent unpleasant surprises at the end of the year.’

Some 75% of the Dutch market is in the hands of Vattenfall, Eneco and Essent.

Between 8% and 10% of Dutch households have an energy contract which will expire in the next three months and a further 44% have a flexible contract, which means their payment rises and falls in line with energy prices – usually twice a year, in January and July.

The rest pay a fixed monthly fee which has been fixed in advance for between one and three years.

The government has been steadily increasing energy taxes, particularly on gas, to stimulate consumers to cut back and make their homes more energy efficient.

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