Six percent of Dutch households have energy contracts above the price cap, more people choose fixed contracts
Approximately six percent of Dutch households have contracts for electricity and natural gas with prices above the price cap. In almost all situations, these households will be better off taking out another contract. On 1 January 2024, the price cap will be lifted. Consumers will then once again pay the prices in their energy contracts. According to the Monitor on the consumer energy market by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), there is a wide selection of contracts with prices below the price cap. The monitor also shows that more and more households opt for fixed contracts.
Households with variable contracts with prices above the price cap will always be better off taking out another contract. For households with fixed contracts, it depends on their current contracts and on their personal situations. Suppliers are allowed to charge an early-termination fee when fixed contracts are terminated early. The maximum fee is 100 euros for fixed contracts that were taken out before 1 June 2023. For fixed contracts that have been taken out after that date, the early-termination fee is based on the price difference between the contract tariff and the tariff that the supplier currently asks for a comparable contract. Consumers can ask their current supplier whether or not they have to pay an early-termination fee. Tips for choosing a new contract can be found on ACM’s consumer information portal ACM ConsuWijzer (in Dutch).
More fixed contracts
The number of households with fixed contracts has increased tremendously since March 2023. In October 2023, there were over three million compared with two million in March 2023. Over four million households currently have a variable or dynamic contract. Despite an increase in the energy tariffs compared with the previous month, there is a wide selection of fixed and variable contracts with prices below the current price cap.
Annual check of power disclosure labels
In order to inform customers (potential or otherwise) properly about the origin of the supplied power, all suppliers must publish so-called power disclosure labels on their websites each year before 1 May. In 2023, ACM had to remind many suppliers of their obligation to publish updated power disclosure labels on time. When assessing the power disclosure labels, ACM primarily looked at suppliers that claim they fully or partly supply power ‘produced in the Netherlands’. Half of all licensed suppliers were checked by ACM. All energy suppliers have now published the mandatory power disclosure labels on their websites, and all suppliers that were checked are able to substantiate their claims of ‘power produced in the Netherlands’ with so-called Guarantees of Origin (GoO). ACM will continue to enforce compliance with the rules for power disclosure labels.