All households in the Netherlands are free to choose or change their gas and electricity supplier. Since the energy market liberalisation in 2004, many new energy providers have entered the free market. Competition for new customers is fierce and households can benefit from attractive, welcoming incentives when they switch to another provider.
This article was written especially for expats, looking for a suitable energy supplier for their situation. It was written by the independent energy comparison website ‘Energievergelijken.nl’ and sums up the most important things to bear in mind when selecting the right provider of gas and electricity. The website offers consumers a free, independent comparison service that allows expats to compare energy contracts on several factors, including price and customer service. The website and its customer support is available in English.
Accessing the Netherlands: How to find a suitable energy provider
In most cases, gas and electricity will already be connected when you move into your house in the Netherlands. All houses are connected to the same energy network. Applying for an energy supplier is obligatory, but merely administrative. There is no need for the energy provider to visit your house and make a physical connection or change the energy meter. You may select any of the Dutch energy providers, as they supply throughout the same network.
Note: You do not need to find an energy supplier if you rent a property and the rent includes the bills for electricity and gas! In all other cases, you do need to apply for a connection with a provider.
Things to note when switching to a new energy provider in the Netherlands
In the current energy market, it is recommended to regularly shop around for the best energy deal. A recent study from the Dutch Government showed that consumers that never changed to a new energy provider, may benefit from savings of up to € 500,- if they would switch. Often, the best deals are 1 year fixed term contracts for new customers. Competition between energy providers is fierce, and they give interesting discounts to win new customers. Switching every 1 to 3 years means you can benefit from a new special offer and keep your energy bill low.
Note: If you have never switched to a new energy provider, most probably you current contract can be cancelled at any time, taking into account a 30-day notice period. If you have a fixed term contract (mostly 1, 3 or 5 years), please make sure to plan your switch on or after the contract’s end date, to avoid possible cancellation fees.