Finance

Millions of households receive free money: compensation, but no higher energy bill

That millions of people are unfairly compensated is apparent from a calculation by RTL Nieuws, which is supported by several independent experts.

Untargeted Compensation

An average household will receive €430 compensation from the state next year for the increased energy bill. In this way, the government wants to alleviate the financial pain for households.

But because of the way it is compensated – by lowering taxes on energy – hundreds of millions in compensation also end up with people who literally don’t have a penny of the rising prices.

903 million over the bar

About 2.1 million households have an energy contract that does not need to be renewed next year. So they just keep their old rate. With an average compensation of 430 euros per household, that amounts to 903 million euros in help for people who simply do not need any help.

That estimate is still on the safe side, because we assume that prices will remain much higher than normal throughout the year. If prices return to normal in the spring, many more people will come through the energy crisis painlessly while still collecting the compensation.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs would also prefer that the compensation be provided in a more targeted manner, but writes that this is not possible.

“The deployment was a targeted measure that supports the households that need it most. Such a targeted approach is not possible in the short term due to the large differences between households, such as the type of energy contract and energy consumption,” said a spokesperson.

Ministry does not know figures

So a measure was chosen that ‘can be implemented relatively quickly and then have an immediate effect on the energy bill’, according to the ministry. There is no answer to the question whether it is a shame that 900 million also goes to households that are not affected.

The ministry also states that it is not aware of the number of households that will not be affected by the rising prices next year.

In this video, reporter Olivia Manders explains why your energy bill is so high and what you can do about it:

6000 euros per poor family

Research institute TNO recently calculated that 142,000 families were forced to lower the thermostat or take a shorter shower in order to continue paying the bills.

To illustrate: with the 900 million euros that now goes to families that do not have increasing costs, 142,000 households could each receive 6000 euros to insulate the house, for example.

Other solution possible

GroenLinks MP Tom van der Lee thinks that a targeted approach is possible to help these households. “I’m happy that 3 billion is being allocated, but I’m really sorry that it’s not being used in a more equitable and effective way, especially reaching the people who are now living in energy poverty,” he says.

“They suffer the most from the increased gas price. And they can be compensated much better,” he thinks. “For example, by granting a thirteenth month for people on welfare and people with an AOW or a small supplementary pension, because they mainly live in energy poverty. They have to be compensated and then more than 400 euros is needed “

accountability

Exactly how many households are confronted with rising energy prices (and how many are not), no one is willing or able to say exactly.

The energy companies do not want to disclose this, or only very sparingly. RTL Nieuws therefore calculated the number of households that do not have to deal with rising energy costs using public sources.

The calculation is based on data from the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets and on the assumption that all households with a variable or 1-year contract will have to deal with a new rate within one year. We then assume that half of the two-year contracts, a third of the three-year contracts and a fifth of the five-year contracts expire each year.

It follows that 5.9 million households will have to deal with a higher energy tariff, but also that 2.1 million households will no longer pay a cent. These households also receive the compensation.

Energy experts from Rabobank, Gaslicht.com and Energy Transition professor Martien Visser support the calculation.

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