1. Check the duration of your contract
If you change energy supplier, you do not have to do this until your contract with the old supplier expires. Depending on the company, you can switch 75 days to six months in advance.
So you can already conclude a contract for a contract that starts in December. But then you close it at the current prices, which is much more favorable than the price that will apply in December, says Sanne de Jong, business unit manager at Gaslicht.com, a site where you can compare energy prices.
2. Think carefully about which contract you want
If you want certainty, it is best to opt for a contract with a duration of several years, for example three or five years. Those prices are usually lower, says Joyce Donat of the Consumers’ Association.
“Suppliers want to be sure that they are asking enough money, which is why a one-year contract is often more expensive. But if you opt for a multi-year contract, and the prices still fall, then you have a relatively expensive contract,” said Donat.
Some people choose that anyway, because they want certainty, explains Donat. If your permanent contract now expires, you can also choose to stick with the variable rate. These rates are usually increased twice a year, on January 1 and July 1.
“But some suppliers are already raising rates in the interim,” said the Consumers’ Association. “Very unusual, but in this market it happens.”
3. Think carefully about the term of a new contract
The current situation on the gas market is so divided that experts do not have a clear answer. Because do you have to sign a contract for three years now, in order to be cheaper?
I don’t recommend that, says De Jong. Because in three years the prices could be a lot lower again. She recommends concluding a contract for 1 year.
“My expectation is that prices will become more stable after the winter,” says Joris Kerkhof, domain manager energy at Independer. “Then the pressure is off.” That’s why his advice is: “If you have to sign a contract now, choose a short-term contract.”
Why is gas so expensive?
After a relatively severe winter, our gas stocks have not been sufficiently replenished. The buffers are on average less than half full (58 percent), while they should have been almost full by now – with the coming winter just around the corner (82 percent).
It is not possible to make up for the shortage with gas from Groningen, now that the gas tap is being turned off further there.
And gas from abroad is expensive. The demand for gas is increasing worldwide now that the economy is recovering. Moreover, gas from Russia, for example, has to be processed before use, and that also costs money.