ACM sees increase in number of fixed energy contracts with lower prices
The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) sees that the number of fixed energy contracts has risen sharply compared with last month. In addition, more new fixed contracts with prices below the price cap are offered. These are some of the conclusions of the latest edition of the Monitor on the consumer energy market (in Dutch: Monitor Consumentenmarkt Energie), which ACM publishes each month based on the latest figures submitted by energy suppliers. More and more consumers opt for fixed contracts for electricity and natural gas with longer contract lengths. At the moment, there is still one supplier that offers energy contracts for natural gas and electricity with prices above the price cap.
One remarkable conclusion of the monitor is that prices for electricity and natural gas have dropped compared with August. Variable contracts have dropped over 1.5%. Fixed contracts have dropped 3% to 4%, depending on their lengths. With regard to fixed contracts, this decline has been the largest price drop since May 2023, and for variable contracts since June 2023. This is remarkable because prices in August actually went up.
The selection of contracts with prices below the price cap continues to grow. HEM is the only supplier that offers new fixed contracts for natural gas and electricity with prices above the price cap. Last month, there were still three such suppliers. Consumers with contracts with prices above the price cap will, starting January 1, 2024, again pay the prices in their energy contracts unless they switch contracts or suppliers before that date.
ACM also observes that the switching rate from one supplier to another among consumers is still significantly lower than before the energy crisis. The monitor has clearly shown that, over the past two months, more and more people have taken out fixed contracts. In early 2023, fixed contracts were offered once again on the market, and, on balance, approximately 100,000 households per month have since taken out a fixed contract. In the last two months, this number has risen to over 200,000 per month. However, the number of households with fixed contracts is still almost 900,000 lower than in late December 2022.
ACM also sees an increase in customer-attraction activities. With regard to new fixed contracts, ACM sees an increase in sign-up rebates as well as an increase in offers on comparison websites.
- Monitor on the consumer energy market (in Dutch)
- Tips for selecting an energy supplier | ACM ConsuWijzer (in Dutch)
- 7-9-2023 ACM warns about fixed contracts with prices above the price cap | ACM.nl