So you just moved to the Netherlands. Welkom! Moving to a new country can be an overwhelming experience. A different culture, a different language, different food… and on top of that all the bureaucratic hassle that comes with the simple fact that you’re alive, but in a different place. As electricity and gas are some of our basic needs, it’s important to arrange these properly at your new home. We have noticed that our international customers often come to us with the same issues after they applied for an energy contract. That’s why we created this list for you! Here are two important things to keep in mind when you're applying for an energy contract in the Netherlands:
1. Do I need electricity and gas or just electricity?
We often see that our international customers apply for an electricity-only contract while they need a contract for both electricity and gas. Adding gas to your contract after the application can be a fuss, which can be prevented easily. Double-check your application before you send it by making sure it says ‘stroom en gas’ or only ‘stroom’ when you only need electricity. On the lease agreement of your home or a similar document it is often stated whether you need to get your own energy contract or not, for either gas and/or electricity. If you can’t find it, it's best to check with your land lord or real estate agent.
There are different situations in which you only need a contract for electricity. In case you have ‘Stadsverwarming’ or ‘Blokverwarming’, your central heating and hot water is provided. However, sometimes you still need a contract for the gas you use for cooking (‘kookgas’). Due to the technical set up in these situations, we often can't measure exactly what you use per year. In that case you pay for a fixed amount of m³ of gas every year. This doesn’t mean the price is fixed, because rates change over time!
Houses that have been built in the last years sometimes don’t have a gas connection. In that case you only need a contract for electricity. Keep in mind that your electricity usage will compensate for the gas you’re not using. Your average electricity usage per year will be higher than when you use both electricity and gas.
2. When exactly do I need the supply to start?
The supply needs to start on the day you received the key to your new home. So make sure to arrange the contract in advance! From that moment on you're responsible for an energy contract at your address. If you already moved in, make sure the supply starts within 2 weeks. When you don’t have a contract, you’re using energy from the grid operator. They're rarely happy with that ;) To let you know, they will send you letters telling you to hurry up. Otherwise they will come over to physically cut off the energy supply. Getting yourself reconnected to the network is expensive, so it's best to avoid this at all times.
When you picked the right contract and are filling out your details, you pick the start date of the supply. Make sure you select 'Ik ga verhuizen' (I'm moving house) so you can fill out the right start date below. This date should be a minimum of 5 days into the future. If you pick an earlier date, it will bounce and you have to wait for the regular period of time for the supply to start, which is four to six weeks.
With these things in mind your application should go smoothly. If you still have any questions or doubts, don’t hesitate to contact us! We happily answer your questions via chat or Social Media.
The Energy Glossary vol. 1:
Blokverwarming (or Stadsverwarming): your gas supply is arranged by the municipality. This often means that your apartment building has one gas meter for the entire building (or parts of it).
EAN code: the unique code of your electricity or gas connection
Eindnota: final invoice
Energieleverancier: energy supplier
Gas: gas :-)
Jaarkosten: annual costs
Jaarnota: annual invoice
Leveringsadres: the address you need the supply for
Meterstanden: meter readings
Netbeheerder: grid operator
Stroom: electricity. Also often referred to as ‘elektriciteit’.
Tarief: rate. This refers to the rate you pay per kWh or cubic meter of gas. It consists of the rate for electricity or gas and government taxes.
Termijnbedrag: monthly payment
Verblijfsfunctie: residence function. If the address you’re applying for has a residence function it means you’re able to live there. We ask this to decide whether you have the right to reduction of energy taxes or not. If your address has a residence function, you receive the reduction.
Vermindering energiebelasting: reduction of energy taxes. We all have to pay taxes for the energy we use. However, if your address has a residence function, a part of this will be refunded on your yearly invoice. You don’t need to contact the Belastingdienst (Dutch tax authorities) for this, we take care of it for you.