More than 100,000 households have called on the energy poverty emergency fund.
Since February, households with a low income and high energy costs can apply for support from the Temporary Emergency Fund for Energy, an initiative of a number of large energy companies and the national government. An application can be submitted until next Monday.
“In the meantime, households with approved applications receive a reduction on their energy bill. This sometimes amounts to hundreds of euros,” says the emergency fund.
The General Dutch Association for the Elderly (ANBO) yesterday argued for an extension of the application period. “I think it’s special that the emergency fund is now ending. I can’t imagine that all people who are entitled to support have also been helped,” said Anneke Sipkens of the ANBO.
She would like to see an extension until the summer. “That gives people room until new measures regarding the energy surcharge are known.”
The emergency fund was supposed to start in January, but was delayed and started a month later. It was then also decided to allow the application period to run until the end of April.
Shortly after the start of the fund, there were complaints about the application procedure. According to the ANBO, among others, it was much too complicated. Some adjustments were made to this, but according to Sipkens it remained a difficult process. “There are many steps you have to go through. Even for volunteers it is sometimes difficult. That is why more time is desired, but we were not given that.”
Until the end of next week there are still office hours at various locations to help people with their application. This is possible at the consultation hour of Geldfit, a partnership of debt counselors, municipalities and companies.
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