How to get your gas, electricity and water connection in the Netherlands?
Maybe not the most exciting thing to arrange but definitely a necessity. If you are renting an apartment this is sometimes often taken care of by your landlord. If so, check if your landlord is being honest about the costs you pay (so ask for the receipts). At the end of the year, you will always get an 'eindejaarsafrekening'. Beforehand there is made an estimation of your usage, based on that you will pay monthly. If you use more, you pay more at the end of the year. Or you have to pay extra if you used more (as simple as that). This is shown on your 'eindejaarsafrekening'
How to connect with the providers?
The process of connecting utilities in the Netherlands is more or less straightforward. You just sign up at the website of the energy provider or via the price comparison website (see below). The documents that you require are:
- Your proof of identity (ID card or passport).
- Occupancy proof (house deed or rental contract).
- Residence proof (bank statement or document verifying your residence from your municipality).
If you don't want to arrange this yourself PartnerPete is a company that can arrange everything for you.
In most cases, gas and electricity are provided to you in the Netherlands by the same provider. It is water that you have to arrange for separately.
Gas and Electricity in the Netherlands
The energy market in the Netherlands is privatized, allowing you to compare rates between different companies and choosing the one that you prefer the most. Most of the gas and electricity companies in the Netherlands have green options, whereby the energy is collected from environmentally friendly sources like water, sun, wind and biomass. The tariff, however, is dependent on the provider that you select, since some companies charge extra money to provide you with green energy.
Here is a tip that I would like to share with you. If you are looking for a company to connect your gas and electricity, there are three things you should think about:
- The length of your contract (indefinite or not - pay attention to the welcome discount).
- If you want 'green' (sustainable) energy or not.
- If you want a discount or for instance a 'smart thermostat' (which helps you to schedule the heating)
Utility comparison tool (Dutch)
Reading the gas and electricity meters
If you have moved into a new apartment, you'll need to provide the meter readings within 15 days to your provider, this to make sure that you only pay for your own usage. If you don't do this on time, the service provider will make an estimate on their end. Once you have sent your meter readers your service provider will double check if it is in line with their estimates. If not, they will get back to you to double check that no mistake has been made.
Power cuts, power plugs and voltage in the Netherlands
Power cuts are very rare in the Netherlands; however, they do happen from time to time. The first thing that you must do, in the case of a power cut is to check if it is just your house or the entire area that is suffering from the situation. Check with your neighbour or check the street lamps. If it is just your house, go and check the fuse box as it might just be the case of a tripped fuse.
If it is something more serious, contact your utility service provider immediately to get it fixed. If you notice that your entire area is suffering from a power cut, you contact the national number for such occasions in the Netherlands. This number is 0800-9009, and it is toll-free and available 24/7.
The standard voltage that you can find in the Netherlands is 220V(50Hz). This is also the standard voltage for most of Europe. In some countries, it might be higher so check your appliances to ensure that they are compatible with the voltage. The power adapters or plugs found in the Netherlands is similar to most of Europe. The use of two-pin power plugs is the common norm and if you happen to have an appliance which has three-pin power plugs, you can easily buy an adapter from the many electric shops found in the Netherlands.
Unlike gas and electricity, there is no competition for water suppliers. There is just one supplier of water in your city. The tap water in the Netherlands is very strictly regulated and because of that it's not only safe but also nice to drink, some people even say it tastes better than bottled water.
When you move into a new apartment you have to provide your water meter readings to your water provider:
For the water usage, you pay the consumption charge, which is the actual amount estimated on the basis of your water usage. Besides that, you have to pay sewage tax as part of the municipal tax (paid on a yearly basis), which is received on February of every year. If you are renting your apartment this is usually paid for by your landlord and average costs are handed down to you as part of the rent.
I hope you've found this helpful if you think of anything I should add be sure let me know!