Finance

No gas connection, but a considerably higher energy bill

And of course, Eneco and Vattenfall are all raising prices. The rates for district heating are linked to those for gas.

Linking to gas price is disadvantageous

While households can choose from various competing suppliers for gas, there is no choice for district heating. In each city one provider has the exclusive right. As a result, households that are connected to district heating often already pay more than families that opt ​​for a competitive offer (gas).

Because users cannot choose their supplier themselves and to prevent those suppliers from asking too much, the prices of the heat network are linked to the gas prices. That is actually intended to protect consumers, but it now works against them.

Average rise

At Ennatural, this involves a price increase of approximately 28 euros per month, based on an annual consumption of 30 gigajoules. That includes the promised compensation from the government. Without compensation, it would amount to an increase of 50 euros per month, the company calculates.

At Vattenfall, after deduction of the compensation, a customer will pay an extra 13 euros per month for a consumption of 28.6 gigajoules. At Eneco, 28 gigajoules means an increase of 22.62 euros on average after compensation.

One gigajoule is equivalent to the consumption of approximately 30 cubic meters of natural gas.

It is unclear why the price increase at Ennatural is relatively higher. “I am not familiar with the situation at Vattenfall and Eneco. We have calculated what the actual increased costs are for us. For example, we have to pay more for the purchase of heat and sometimes we also have to use gas to co-fire. We have looked with good conscience at the costs,” says a spokesperson for Ennatural who understands that the “consumer is concerned”.

Vattenfall

“The total annual costs will increase for our customers next year by an average of 420 euros. If you subtract the 265 euros in government compensation, you are left with an increase of 155 euros per year or 13 euros increase per month,” a Vattenfall spokesperson calculates. . With regard to the variable costs, the company remains below the maximum rates of the ACM. It charges 39.41 euros (per gigajoule), an increase of 14 euros compared to 2021.

“The ACM allows energy suppliers to charge almost 54 euros per gigajoule in variable costs. We do not think that is necessary. Our costs are increasing, but we can and want to do it cheaper.” The company also gives customers a discount, just like last year.

off the gas

About five percent of Dutch households use district heating. These are often new housing estates that were built after 1980. No gas is then used to heat the house. Residual heat provides heating for the house.

Ennatural, which supplies 85,000 households, uses residual heat from the Amer power station in Geertruidenberg to heat homes in Tilburg and Breda, among others. And homes in Amsterdam (Vattenfall) are dependent on heat that is released by the Afval Energiebedrijf Amsterdam.

Protection ACM

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) determines the maximum rates each year, based on the gas price. Because it is now so high, heat rates may rise by 67 percent. At the end of December, ACM already called on suppliers to exercise restraint in the rate increase, if this was not necessary to cover the increased costs. They are not allowed to use the linkage of the rates to make even more profit.

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