The government parties want the cabinet to cap the high energy bills of citizens before this autumn. The cabinet is still consulting with energy companies all day long about whether this is feasible.
This morning, the group leaders of coalition parties VVD, D66, CDA and ChristenUnie again discussed a way to curb the rising energy costs of citizens and businesses. The four would prefer a so-called price ceiling to be introduced as of 1 November. This means that a household that does not use more gas and electricity than average will never lose more than a maximum amount.
The cabinet will continue talks this afternoon after a long meeting yesterday. Today, the party leaders of PvdA and GroenLinks are also joining us, who previously asked for a price ceiling. Their support is needed to get the government’s budget plans through the Senate.
Furthermore, Minister Rob Jetten (Climate and Energy) is again negotiating with the energy companies today whether 1 November is indeed feasible. The major airlines have already said they can. But the smaller companies would not succeed until January 1. The Netherlands has about 35 energy companies.
The government will compensate energy companies if the price of gas and electricity is higher than the agreed maximum amount that they can charge citizens. It is not yet possible to say how many billions of euros that will cost. That depends on how high the gas price will be next winter. It has been agreed in the coalition that the proposed reduction in energy tax for next year will then no longer be necessary.
It is not yet clear how high the ceiling will be. In The Hague, bandwidths circulate between 1200 to 1500 cubic meters of gas and 2500 to 3000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. Until that limit is reached, people will then pay the rate that applied to the invasion of Ukraine at the beginning of this year. Anything above that must be settled at the higher market rate. In this way, the cabinet wants to ‘incentivize’ everyone to use energy economically.
In addition, the cabinet is working on an emergency fund that can help people who can no longer pay their energy bills. In this way, it should be prevented that defaulters are closed next winter.
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