Understand the Dutch utilities industry, which service providers to contact to get electrical, gas and water service connected, how the billing works and what to do in a utilities emergency.
ELECTRICITY / GAS
Electricity suppliers operate in a open market in the Netherlands where residents are able to choose which company they want to supply service. Many Dutch utilities companies offer integrated services, providing both gas and electricity supplies. This tends to be the most popular, and least expensive, option for households.
There is a major push by the government to make newly constructed homes and residential buildings gas-free in order to reduce harmful greenhouse emissions.
Getting service connected
To establish an account for electricity or gas service, the following need to be provided:
- Proof of identity (usually a valid passport)
- Proof of residency (for those without a Dutch passport)
- Proof of occupancy (rental contract or house deed)
- Proof of address (the BRP extract which is available from your local municipal office)
Note and check the meter readings when moving into a new home. Bills are based on either the previous year’s consumption for the property or on the estimated average usage for the number of people now living at the address. As heating is a major cost in the Netherlands, the entire year’s usage is spread out over 12 months to avoid unmanageable bills. Any discrepancies are adjusted at year-end with either a refund or additional bill.
Costs will vary based on whether the home is heated by gas or electricity, how large the home or apartment is and how many people are living in it. A rough guideline would be €100-150 per month for a family of 4 which would include electricity and hot water.
For gas leaks or electricity emergencies call: 0800 9009
The water supply in the Netherlands is managed by 21 regional water boards under the umbrella organization ‘Unie van Waterschappen’ (Association of Water Boards), based in The Hague. Each is responsible for maintaining the quality and quantity of drinking water as well as the treatment of waste water and flood control.
Expats coming from countries like the United States, Canada and Australia should be aware that the drinking water in the Netherlands, as is the case in most of Europe, is not fluoridated.
Water tax is paid by a property owner for the amount of water used. In the case of rental accommodation, water bills are usually handled by the agent or landlord and the normal costs passed on to the tenant through the rent.
Every property connected to a municipal sewage line (which is nearly all properties in the Netherlands) is also assessed an annual sewage tax, which will be included on the municipal tax bill. Property owners usually receive their municipal tax bill in February.