Thirteen municipalities ask Eneco to lower the district heating rate

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A thermostat is turned off
NOS News

Aldermen of thirteen municipalities want Eneco to lower the prices for district heating. In a letter they ask the energy company.

Eneco charges more than 90 euros per gigajoule (GJ), the maximum that an energy company can charge according to the Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM).

At Vattenfall and Ennatuurlijk this is 76.45 and 78.24 euros respectively. With district heating it is not possible to switch to another energy supplier. One supplier per region has the exclusive right to supply.

Price cap

Municipalities such as Amersfoort, Delft, Zoetermeer and Nieuwegein fear for the affordability of district heating, although there is also a ceiling for district heating. That ceiling is 47.38 euros per GJ up to a consumption of 37 GJ. In the letter, the thirteen aldermen say: “Despite the price ceiling, using district heating with this maximum rate leads to considerably higher monthly costs.”

In the letter, the aldermen ask Eneco for an explanation. “We invite you to provide us with a further explanation of the starting points, the structure, the variables and certainly also the considerations that were used in determining the rates.”

The municipalities state that district heating will be badly needed in the energy transition. They see district heating as a “sustainable and future-proof” energy supply. The high rate could have a negative effect on support for district heating.

An alderman in Diemen is one of the signatories. For that municipality, district heating is especially important for the future. “Now there is a small neighborhood that is connected to an Eneco heating network. But it is an important signal, because as a municipality we do not want people to become outlaws in the future when it comes to the connection.”

Reaction Eneco

Eneco tells NOS that it purchased all the energy for the production of heat in one go last autumn. Prices were extremely high then, and much higher than now.

“Unfortunately, energy rates are historically high and we are well aware that the rates for 2023 can have individual financial consequences for residents. Virtually all consumers who are energy customers at Eneco (expected to be more than 85 percent) remain below the ceiling. Almost all users those above the ceiling are business users.”

The energy company wants to explain the high rate to the municipalities. “Municipalities are important partners for Eneco to realize the necessary pace in the heat transition. In response to their signal, we will soon enter into further discussions with the thirteen municipalities (and other municipalities that need it).”

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