Dutch people save a lot on gas: ‘But energy tax keeps prices high’

Dutch people save a lot on gas: ‘But energy tax keeps prices high’
Dutch people save a lot on gas: ‘But energy tax keeps prices high’

Dutch households save significantly on gas. Consumption has fallen by 30 percent in three years. Drenthe is a leader in gas savings, according to data from price comparator Independer. Prices are not falling quickly due to the high tax on gas.

For a long time, the average gas consumption per household in the Netherlands was 1,500 cubic meters per year. That is outdated, energy expert Joris Kerkhof of Independer shows based on data supplied by consumers. Last year, that average consumption only affected 13 percent of Dutch households.

Drenthe saved like no other. Three years ago, half of the households there indicated that they consumed more than 1,500 cubic meters. Now it is 22 percent. Independer sees a decline in gas consumption reported by users on its site. “This has been happening even faster since the energy crisis,” says Kerkhof.

It also fell sharply in Groningen: from 44 percent to 16 percent in three years. Apart from Drenthe and Limburg, all provinces were below 20 percent last year in terms of the number of households that consumed 1,500 cubic meters or more.

Savings per province

In Flevoland and South Holland, only 11 percent of people report that they consume more than 1,500 cubic meters. “That was about three times as much three years ago.” Things are also going fast in the province of Friesland, Kerkhof points out the decrease: 48 percent still had to use more than 1,500 m3. In 2023 that was still 17 percent. View how much was consumed in your province here:

The decrease in consumption in the Netherlands and Europe is largely caused by the energy crisis and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has caused gas prices to rise enormously. “You immediately feel that in your wallet and it leads to behavioral change,” says Independer’s energy expert.

On the one hand, the thermostat is lowered and Dutch people shower less, on the other hand, people who can afford it insulate their homes well. “Or do they opt for a fully electric or hybrid heat pump. People want to reduce their consumption in all kinds of ways.”

Prices high

Although the gas price is dropping slightly despite winter, people remain alert to their consumption, says Kerkhof. “But it seems impossible that we will ever go back to the gas price before the crisis.”

This is mainly due to the rising gas tax. The government is doing everything it can to achieve the 2050 climate goals. Gas consumption plays an important role in limiting CO2 emissions. “That is why the gas tax will only increase in the coming years.”

For comparison: in 2019 the gas tax was still 0.42 euros, now it is already 0.71 euros per cubic meter. Independer warns that some consumers cannot do without gas, for example if they have to take a hot bath every day due to illness. “Not everyone can afford that.”

And there is no guarantee that gas prices will remain low, he says, despite the large supply. “As we saw in 2022, this can easily change. At the time, Russia was increasingly turning off the gas tap. This led to significant price increases. This caused people to get into financial problems,” says Kerkhof.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Dutch people save lot gas energy tax prices high


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