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19 July 2024

Student Life
& Society

Students benefit little from energy price cap

Many students will benefit very little from the energy price cap that was announced recently. The Dutch Student Union LSVb and student housing providers are pressing for a better arrangement.

Because of the energy crisis the government has agreed prices with energy companies to ensure that household energy bills are not so high. Following criticism, the support was made more generous on Tuesday. From January 2023, an average household of two people can expect to receive a discount of up to 2,500 euros.

These measures will also apply to households that consume locally produced energy in the form of block heating, district heating or suchlike. But there is a risk that students will derive very little benefit from this.

The Dutch Student Union and Kences, the umbrella organisation of large student housing providers like DUWO and SSH, therefore wrote a letter to the ministers responsible – Rob Jetten, Sigrid Kaag, Micky Adriaansens, Carola Schouten and Hugo De Jonge – arguing that when the details of the energy price cap are finalised students should be given equivalent compensation.

Contracts and connections

Under the new plans the price cap is to be calculated and paid out per energy contract, which does not benefit most students. This is because student housing providers often enter into a single contract for several homes in different buildings. Additionally, most students either do not have their own gas and electricity connection or share all the facilities.

Sharing the discount

Under the proposed system, such students – hundreds of whom are sometimes included in a single energy contract – will collectively get the same compensation as one average household. For electricity they will collectively only get the discount on the consumption up to 2,900 kilowatt hours, the average annual consumption of a two-person household. The sky-high market price applies to all the electricity consumption above that threshold. For this reason, the Dutch Student Union and Kences want the number of users to be taken into account when the price cap is determined.

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