The distribution tariffs for electricity and natural gas in 2022 will increase by, on average, 6 euros (excluding VAT) per household. This is one of the conclusions of the tariff decisions for distribution system operators that the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has published. Each year, ACM sets these tariffs for system operators. This is the first year that ACM sets these tariffs on the basis of the new method decisions, which were published in September 2021.
By regulating these tariffs, ACM makes sure that system operators receive sufficient revenues to make investments that are necessary for the energy transition. At the same time, it ensures that tariffs are not higher than reasonable, and it stimulates system operators to work efficiently. As part of the energy transition, fossil fuels are more and more replaced by renewable sources of energy, particularly solar and wind power. In order to be able to transport such sustainable electricity, major investments must be made in expanding and upgrading the grid over the next few years.
The system operation tariffs are composed of a distribution tariff and a connection tariff. The average tariffs that households pay for natural gas in 2022 decrease by 0.55%. The average tariffs for electricity in 2022 increase by 3.3%. The most important cause of this increase is the increased costs that the transmission system operator TenneT in 2022 passes on to the distribution system operators for electricity because of the additional costs that TenneT will incur over the next few years for upgrading the high-voltage grid. These additional costs also have consequences for the tariffs that large-scale users will have to pay.
Next to distribution and connection tariffs, system operators also charge tariffs for the energy meter. ACM sets the maximum tariffs that system operators are allowed to charge. Compared with last year, the maximum tariffs have only been corrected for inflation. The metering tariffs have been published at the same time as the distribution and connection tariffs.
The energy bill for consumers
The energy bill for consumers consists of four different elements: the variable supply costs (the tariff that consumers pay for 1 m3 of natural gas or 1 kWh of electricity), the fixed supply costs (for example, administrative costs), the distribution costs (also called system operation costs), and taxes. Of these four elements, ACM only sets the system operation costs. ACM does make sure that energy suppliers do not charge any unreasonable tariffs for the supply of energy, and ACM also checks whether bills are clear and compliant with the rules. For example, ACM in October made sure that energy supplier Budget Energie informed its customers more clearly about the fact that it did not charge its fixed supply costs per day but per month. That meant that people that became customers or switched contracts in the middle of a month had to pay the fixed supply costs for the entire month. At ACM’s request, Budget Energie now informs its customers more clearly about this provision.