It will be a cold winter for people with a small purse. Setting the heating nice and high is not possible if you have to watch your money, because the gas price has risen sharply due to a shortage of gas.
“There are few ways to limit the increase in energy bills,” says Sanne de Jong, business unit manager at Gaslicht.com, a site where you can compare energy prices.
Warm sweater and shorter shower
“Of course you can put on a sweater and you can insulate your home better. But the latter also costs a lot of money. And you can take a shorter shower, but you can’t do more things to reduce the amount of gas you use.”
Do you want to heat your house with an electric heater instead of central heating? Don’t do it, she warns, unless you have solar panels. “Heating with electricity costs much more than heating with gas. In addition, electricity prices have also risen considerably.”
250 euros per month
What can help to reduce costs: ensure that you pay as little as possible for your gas and light per cubic meter and per kWh. The costs are increasing daily.
According to calculations by Gaslicht.com, a household with an average energy consumption (3500 kWh of electricity and 1500 cubic meters of gas) was able to conclude a fixed contract for 1 year at the end of June for an amount of 2006 euros. That increased to 2570 euros in September and will go towards 3000 euros in October. “That equates to an energy bill of 250 euros per month.”
If you change energy supplier, you do not have to do this until your contract with the old supplier expires. De Jong knows that you can switch 75 days to six months in advance, depending on the company. “So you can already conclude a contract for a contract that starts in December. But then you close it for the current prices, which is much more favorable than the price that will apply in December,” she says.
She does not recommend concluding a contract now if your old agreement only expires in six months. “That is probably not favorable because gas prices will fall again in the spring.”
Only people with a long-term contract with fixed rates escape the dance. Do you have to sign a contract for three years now? “I do not recommend that, the prices are expected to be lower in 3 years. A contract for one year is better.”
The euros we pay to our energy farmer do not only go towards the electricity and gas consumed. That is only a small part of the costs.
You also pay hundreds of euros in management costs for the gas and electricity network. In addition, the government levies a tax on every kWh of electricity and cubic meter of gas that you use. In this way, the government wants to encourage people to use energy consciously.
The energy tax has increased considerably in recent years. De Jong: “In 2016 you paid 30.45 cents per cubic meter of gas including VAT. Now that is already 42.18 cents and next year it will be 43.95 cents.” To prevent people from literally being left out in the cold because they can no longer afford the costs, the government should lower the energy tax, she believes.
“The cabinet must intervene. This tax is there to ensure that people do not waste energy, but with the current gas prices there is no one who does that. Lower that tax or abolish it,” says De Jong.