High energy costs?

Since last year, energy costs in the Netherlands rose significantly for many people. Read here what ASVA has been doing, and what you might be able to do.

Keep your energy costs low

It might sounds obvious, but the most important thing is keeping your energy costs down. The most significant part of your energy bill is most likely heating. Most people never heat over 19 degrees Celsius. At night or when you leave the house you can turn the heating down further, to 15 degrees for example. Heating longer, or to a higher temperature, can influence your energy costs greatly.

Temporary energy fund

The Dutch government and energy companies have set up a fund to limit energy costs. They will pay a portion of your energy bill if you spend more than 8-10% of your income on energy. This can lower your bill greatly. Unfortunately, there are some prerequisites. Most importantly you need to have an energy contract in your own name. If you pay via your landlord, you cannot apply for the funds. Secondly, the income of all residents at the address taken together has to be under a certain limit. ASVA has filled a complaint with the government, but they have decided not amended the rules.

Court case about energy allowance

ASVA represents students in their legal case against the city of Amsterdam for energy allowance. Students were excluded from this subsidy. We expect the ruling to come in February or March. This will have an effect only on students who applied on time and filed the necessary appeals. Other students will not be able to apply unfortunately. Other options are explained below. 

Individual financial help

Those who are not eligible for energy allowance, or for whom energy allowances did not suffice, might be able to collect other support. A prerequisite is that you can prove that your energy costs have risen. Unfortunately, it is not yet clear if international students can apply for these funds, and what effect that has on their right to remain in the Netherlands. That is mostly due to the fact that for EU-wide social security purposes international students are normally considered to be covered in their country of origin. That changes when students work a considerable amount. In that case they’ll often earn more than the income limit set for these policies. If you are in an especially tight financial situation due to energy costs you can contact energietoeslag@ASVA.nl. We cannot promise anything on this point, but we can see if we can help. 

Service costs

If you pay service costs to your landlord he has to provide you with a yearly settlement of the costs before the 1st of July. It should state how much your landlord spent and how much you need to pay extra or how much they’ll pay you back. The landlord cannot make profit from service costs (except for a bit of administration fees). You are allowed to ask for proof of the costs your landlord made. It is especially important to check the service costs if the bill is (suddenly) high. If you have questions you can contact: legalaid@asva.nl.