ACM imposes an order subject to periodic penalty payments on heat supplier Hydreco


The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has ordered heat supplier Hydreco B.V. to make sure that, no later than 17 January 2021, residents of the Cronenborg residential complex are able to consume indoor heating at any given time. Hydreco is given one year for this task, since they need to adjust the Thermal Energy Storage (TES) system. If they fail to do so, they are required to pay a periodic penalty payment of 20,000 euros a month, up to a maximum of 200,000 euros.

Cronenborg’s residents committee had filed a request for enforcement with ACM. The Cronenborg residential complex in the southern Dutch town of Boxtel, owned by Housing Association Sint Joseph (now called JOOST), together with other residential complexes are connected to Hydreco’s TES-system. The Cronenborg residential complex is supplied with heat for indoor heating, and cold for indoor cooling. When the TES-system is used for cooling, residents cannot use heating at the same time. However, a heat supplier must ensure a secure supply of heat. Hydreco does not meet this requirement, because it is not able to provide indoor heating to Cronenborg’s residents at any given time.

Consumer protection for heat customers

In the energy transition, ACM also pays attention to the protection of consumers. This expressly applies to the supply of heat as well. More and more households receive individual-building heating and district heating. They are entitled to a secure supply of heat, at transparent prices, and under reasonable conditions. ACM enforces compliance with these rules.