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Tariffs of energy suppliers are falling but vary greatly, while offers are difficult to find

The tariffs that energy suppliers charge new customers are falling, but they vary considerably among suppliers. These are some of the conclusions of the Monitor on the consumer energy market (in Dutch: Monitor Consumentenmarkt Energie), published by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). Consumers that are looking for lower-priced contracts for electricity and/or natural gas are usually not able to find these easily. ACM believes that suppliers must be more transparent about the tariffs that they charge new customers. They can do so, for example, by publishing all of their tariffs on their websites, and then, for example, presenting the most attractive tariff more prominently. In order to offer more insight into the price trends and the differences in offers, ACM will, from now on, publish each month its Monitor. In addition, ACM has launched an investigation into the three largest energy suppliers in the Netherlands (Eneco, Essent, and Vattenfall) in order to assess whether or not their tariffs are unreasonable.

Martijn Snoep, Chairman of the Board of ACM, explains: “Our Monitor reveals that major differences exist between tariffs, and that consumers have something to choose from again. Not all suppliers invest in attracting new customers, and it is difficult to compare their offers. Suppliers must be transparent about their tariffs, and make sure that their offers are easy to find.”

Monitor on the consumer energy market

The Monitor on the consumer energy market reveals that an average household looking for a new energy contract can see a difference of hundreds of euros per year. Permanent contracts are hardly offered. The monitor also shows that significant differences exist between various contracts from the same supplier. Model contracts (which are standard contracts that must always be available for all consumers, and on the basis of which it should be easy to compare suppliers) are usually the most expensive.

The Monitor on the consumer energy market shows for different user profiles (based on housing type and number of occupants) what the differences in tariffs between suppliers were for new customers on February 1, 2023. When checking these tariffs, you can choose whether or not the monitor takes into account the price cap. The monitor offers insight into the differences in tariffs, and shows which supplier, on February 1, had the lowest tariffs for specific user profiles. The tariffs in the monitor will be updated once a month. This means that consumers looking for the most up-to-date tariffs will still have to check the websites of suppliers or price-comparison websites once energy suppliers start presenting their tariffs to these websites again. Over the next few months, ACM will add more information about the energy market to the monitor.

Oversight of energy tariffs

ACM has intensified its oversight of the energy tariffs. In order to be able to assess whether or not the energy suppliers’ tariffs are unreasonable after the introduction of the price cap, ACM has launched an investigation into the three largest Dutch energy suppliers: Eneco, Essent, and Vattenfall. ACM will examine how their tariffs are determined, and how they allocate to their various tariffs the costs that they incur. ACM has decided to take a closer look at these three suppliers because more than half of all Dutch households have taken out an energy contract with one of these suppliers. When publishing its next monitor on March 1, 2023, ACM will be able to provide more information about this investigation. If it turns out that certain tariffs are unreasonable, ACM will take enforcement action.

Monitor on wholesale tariffs and security of supply of natural gas

From February 1, ACM also publishes a weekly Monitor on wholesale tariffs and security of supply of natural gas. This monitor contains information on the filling rate of the gas storage facilities, the supply of liquid natural gas (LNG), and the price trends on the wholesale market.

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