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The higher you live, the lower your gas bill is

Certain residents of the southern Dutch province of Limburg may be offered a saving of EUR 33 per year on their gas bills. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has decided that, for residents who live at an altitude of 200 meters above sea level or higher, the measured gas consumption will be adjusted from January 1, 2015. This affects approximately 3,500 households.

Residents at higher altitudes experience lower atmospheric pressure. Our gas meters are based on normal atmospheric pressure at sea level. As a result, gas meter readings become distorted in the most elevated areas in Limburg (mostly the southern tip of the province). Henk Don, Member of the Board of ACM, explains: “The energy value per cubic meter of natural gas is lower in those areas, which means you need more gas to cook your food or to heat your home, for example. And that should not result in higher costs for consumers.”

Following new regulations in July 2013 concerning the temperature correction for gas meters, the effect of atmospheric pressure due to elevation on gas meters has now also been examined. ACM has taken a decision on this proposal from the operators of the electricity and gas networks. Residents in other areas of high altitude (such as the Utrechtse Heuvelrug region in central Netherlands) will also benefit from this correction. Approximately 30,000 residents at an altitude of 150 to 200 meters above sea level will be offered a saving of approximately EUR 24 per year, while 80,000 residents between 100 and 150 meters are offered a saving of approximately EUR 17 per year, and finally, 125,000 households between 50 and 100 meters above sea level receive a saving of approximately EUR 6 per year.