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The Netherlands - Living

Gas, water & electricity

Digital gas meter

The energy market in the Netherlands is about to change. In the last 15 years, the market has become freer and many price wars have been carried out. Electricity meters became digital and intelligent (slimme meter), so that the energy providers can bill more accurately and faster, but the customer can also log his energy consumption live. In addition, Dutch suppliers have also taken up the demand for green energy and offer different options. Short contract terms of one year are not uncommon and an annual change of energy suppliers can save money. Do not worry, you do not have a power outage when changing providers.

In the Netherlands, there are various gas fields that allow the state to get cheap to this coveted source of energy. On the one hand, most of the gas fields are almost consumed, on the other hand, due to large earthquake damage over the gas fields, gas production in the Netherlands will be discontinued in the near future. The Dutch state, provinces, and municipalities have been working on alternatives for years. These can be solutions in the field of district heating, heat pumps or solar systems. Unfortunately, those who are used to subsidies from Germany will have to change over, as they are often severely restricted in the Netherlands.

Gas, water & electricity


Classic water meter

In the Netherlands, 10 water companies are responsible for the drinking water supply. Every company has to supply a part of the country with water. There is no possibility of choice, you are obliged to use water from the provider of the region.

On the website of the Association of Water Companies in the Netherlands Vewin, you will find an overview of all water suppliers.

If you are moving and you still live in the same area, you will need to give the new address to your current water supply. If you move to another area, you must log out of your current water utility. You also need to register with the water utility in your new area as soon as possible. The meter readings must also be transmitted in each case. Our tip: Take a photo of the meter reading as well.

You pay a monthly installment to the water company. At the end of the year, you will receive a year-end statement. There it is described in detail how high the consumption was. Eventually, additional payment or refund will follow. This depends, among other things, on consumption. The year-end statement consists of

  • Basic charge
  • water consumption
  • Tap water tax
  • Groundwater discharge of the province
  • Fees of the  water board and local authority (if applicable)

Gas, water & electricity

Gas & electricity

In the Netherlands, there is an open and free market for energy providers. As a customer, you can and should - depending on the duration of your contract - regularly carry out a price comparison. Lucrative offers attract new customers and those who are smart, switch in time to the next cheap provider.

Suppliers, such as Oxxio, have adapted to this market early on. It offers "green electricity" and gas, everything is regulated online, an app shows the consumption and the current costs.

The energy suppliers are usually very flexible so that in a move, the old contract can be taken and even temporarily can have two contracts. If you need a new contract, you should definitely consult a comparison portal, as it can lead to very large price differences. Many providers also have a welcome bonus in the form of a financial reward or other services. It usually applies: The longer the contract period, the more bonus.

Nationwide energy consumption

40 000

millions m³ of natural gas per year

120 000

millions kWh of electricity per year


Energy sources

Electricity and heat are produced in the Netherlands through various methods. There are available

  • fossil fuels
  • renewable energy
  • nuclear power
  • other energy sources

Fossil fuels are natural gas, hard coal, heavy fuel oil, and other fossil fuels, which are mostly residuals from industry. About 80% of energy production (electricity and heat) is produced by this method. [3]

Solar energy, wind energy, hydropower, and biomass fall under the renewable energies. Renewable energy production has increased eightfold in the last 20 years, but in 2018 it is only about 14%. [3]

The only electric power station operating in the Netherlands is the Borssele nuclear power plant. This plant supplies around 4 billion kWh (kilowatt hours) of nuclear energy every year. That's enough power for more than 1 million homes.[4] The Dodewaard nuclear power plant was in operation from 1969 to 1997. For 2045, the demolition of the not yet degraded, internally radioactively polluted buildings are planned. 2.2% of energy or 3.2% of electricity was generated by nuclear power in 2018. [3]

Other energy sources are expansion turbines, waste incineration plants, vapor recovery systems, and similar technical solutions. Around 3% of the energy was produced this way in the year. [3]

Netbeheerder and energieleverancier

In the Netherlands, there are currently 7 regional and 2 state-wide network management companies (Netbeheerder). These network operators operate the electricity and / or gas network, provide the infrastructure and a perfect technical use right up to the customer. The grid operator supplies gas and electricity meters. End users rarely get in touch with the Netbeheerder. Any costs incurred will be billed to the energy supplier.

An energieleverancier is the energy supplier and thus the company in which the end customer concludes his electricity and gas contract. These utilities supply electricity and the consumers are responsible for the purchase of electricity and gas. The utilities are responsible for customer service. In the Netherlands, households and businesses can freely choose between different providers. A price comparison can be very worthwhile.

EAN Code

classic electric meter left, right meter (EAN codes are blackened)

An EAN code is not only used for products that can be bought in the shop or online, but also for electricity and gas meters in the Netherlands. Each meter has a unique number and can thus be clearly identified in the power grid. This EAN code is 18 numbers long and can be found here:

  • in the year-end statement
  • on the meter (old meters often have only one meter number)
  • online in the EAN codebook

Annual statement and costs

The annual statement will be sent at least once a year by post, app or e-mail. If you already have a digital electricity and gas meter (slimme meter), the meter readings are read out over the network. If there is still a conventional analog counter, an employee of the energy company will read it. It may also be that you have to tell the meter readings, or an estimate is made. If the estimate deviates, you can email digital photos in order to ensure accurate billing.

3 types of costs

The annual statement consists of the following parts:

  • Delivery costs (Leveringskosten) for electricity and/or gas
  • Taxes and charges (Overheidsheffingen) on electricity and/or gas
  • Network management costs (Netbeheerkosten) for electricity and/or gas

Delivery costs are the consumption costs that go to the energy company

  • Variable delivery costs: These are the costs of the amount of energy consumed (kWh or m³) multiplied by the agreed price
  • Fixed delivery costs (formerly referred to as basic charge): these costs are independent of the amount of consumption

The state levies taxes per kWh and m³. The taxes and duties are paid by the energy company to the Dutch tax office:

  • Energy tax: The introduction of a tax on electricity and gas should encourage consumers to use energy efficiently and consciously
  • Surcharge Sustainable Energy: A surcharge on electricity and gas was introduced to support the stimulus costs for sustainable energy

Every household needs at least a certain amount of energy, so no taxes have to be paid. The energy tax will, therefore, be reduced by a fixed amount per year and year. This reduction is named vermindering energiebelasting and applies only when the location is used as household and electricity was used.

The network management costs are paid by the energy company to the network operator. Network management costs are the cost of connection and transportation incurred by the network operator. The structure of these costs on the respective website of the network operators.


During billing, the individual meter readings, costs and also monthly payments are listed clearly. Thus, the individual taxes, delivery costs, and consumption costs are listed explicitly. Often comparisons with similar households are presented and energy sources are mentioned. This allows consumers to see exactly if they were economical and how "green" energy consumption was.

Whether an additional payment is due, or you get back money will be explained. Also, a possible new monthly amount is called. Changes in the energy market and the shift towards more sustainable energy can make billing higher for the same consumption. Be sure to check all points and check if, for example, a welcome bonus has been calculated correctly.

Gas, water & electricity

Price comparison energy supplier

Unfortunately, you cannot compare water prices. This is due to the monopoly position of the local water suppliers. For electricity and gas suppliers, you should definitely compare prices in one of the numerous comparison portals or through the price comparison tool on our site.

Gas, water & electricity

You need support?

PartnerPete is a service provider that can quickly and easily arrange all basic house connections (water, gas, electricity, internet, television and mobile phone). The service is completely free, with no hidden costs and in combination with flexible contracts. PartnerPete's services are aimed at the expat community in the Netherlands, so all communications are in English. So, if you do not want to deal with the topic yourself, you can use this service.




[1] CBS (27 september 2019). Aardgasbalans; aanbod en verbruik. Retrieved on October 1, 2019, from https://opendata.cbs.nl/statline/#/CBS/nl/dataset/00372/table?ts=1569926512909
[2] CBS (17 mei 2019). Elektriciteitsbalans; aanbod en verbruik 1919-2018. Retrieved on October 1, 2019, from https://opendata.cbs.nl/statline/#/CBS/nl/dataset/00377/table?ts=1569927047113
[3] CBS (28 juni 2019). Elektriciteit en warmte; productie en inzet naar energiedrager. Retrieved on October 1, 2019, from https://opendata.cbs.nl/statline/#/CBS/nl/dataset/80030NED/table?ts=1569928467069
[4] Rijksoverheid. Kernenergie. Retrieved on October 1, 2019, from https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/duurzame-energie/opwekking-kernenergie