Between April 2020 and April 2021, over a quarter of all Dutch households (27%) switched energy suppliers. The number of switchers has thus stayed almost the same as last year. Another 18% of consumers switched energy suppliers in the past three years, and 8% of all households has adjusted their contracts with their current suppliers. These are some of the conclusions of the Energy Monitor 2021, which the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has published. Switching energy suppliers potentially saves consumers a lot of money and/or make their energy supply more sustainable. Consumers are able to save up to 400 euros a year. ACM’s study also shows that consumers are very satisfied with the handling of their switching processes. On the website of ACM’s consumer information portal ACM ConsuWijzer, consumers are able to find tips that can help consumers compare suppliers and make a well-founded choice between the different energy suppliers.
Besides saving money, taking out sustainable energy can also be a reason for switching. ACM’s figures reveal that 78% of consumers take out energy with a green energy label. The Energy Monitor 2021 also shows that the homes of an overwhelming majority of consumers (81%) already have sustainable upgrades, such as cavity wall insulation, roof insulation, or HR++ glass insulation. Approximately a quarter of consumers have smart thermostats and/or solar panels on their roofs.
Informing consumers about price changes
Consumers must be able to switch without cancellation fees if they are faced with price changes. That is why energy suppliers must inform their customers about price changes at least 30 days in advance. The Energy Monitor 2021 shows that the number of consumers that indicate that they were informed about price changes a month in advance has decreased from 55% to 47%. The number of consumers that indicate that they were not informed on time or not at all has increased. That is why ACM calls on all energy suppliers to comply with the 30-day period with regard to price changes. Consumers that were not informed by their energy suppliers on time or not at all can file a report with ACM ConsuWijzer.
The Energy Monitor 2021 contains information from consumer studies that ACM conducts annually in April, as well as information from energy suppliers, among other sources.