In 2013, 13.1 percent of consumers switched to another energy company. That is more than in 2012 – when the percentage was 12.5 – and more than in any other previous year. This is revealed by a report of the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) on the trends in the energy market in the second half of 2013. Almost all switchers (94 percent) indicate that they are satisfied with the switching process.
Of all switchers, 65 percent have switched twice or more. At this point, 44 percent of all consumers have switched energy supplier at least once. Another 28 percent of all consumers have switched contract with the same supplier. The amount that consumers are able to save by switching – up to EUR 314 – is higher than most consumers would think. Anita Vegter, Member of the Board of ACM, explains: “Consumers that switch stimulate businesses to innovate, to provide a better service and to charge more competitive prices. Consumers ultimately benefit from this.”
Saving on your energy bill
A large majority of consumers (78 percent) believe that their energy bill is high or very high. This percentage has not changed for some time now. Consumers indicate that they are willing to switch if they are able to save at least EUR 175. They think they will only be EUR 82 better off after a switch. In reality, however, consumers are able to save an amount of up to EUR 314 by switching. Another important reason not to switch is the high level of satisfaction among consumers with their current supplier.
Of all consumers, 40 percent indicate that they consider switching within two years.Consumers who consider switching often start their search for information by using a comparison website. In late-2013, the energy bill of an average Dutch household was EUR 1,727.
The energy market remains highly concentrated. The combined market share of the three largest energy firms (Eneco, Essent and Nuon) is currently approximately 80 percent. However, it is steadily declining.
In late-2013, 63 percent of Dutch consumers have a green-power contract. This percentage is steadily increasing. The percentage for 2012 was 61. In addition, three in four consumers indicate that they are not willing to pay more for green power. One in four is willing to pay up to EUR 12 a month more compared to brown power.