Variable energy bills up 7% despite lower VAT rate
Despite the government lowering the VAT rate on energy, the variable energy rates rose by an average of 7 percent compared to the beginning of this year, consumer organization Vastelanstenbond reported. The organization called on the government to do more to help people cope with the rapidly rising fixed costs.
The Cabinet reduced the VAT rate on energy from 21 to 9 percent until the end of the year. But that wasn’t enough to absorb the rising energy costs. Households pay about 6 percent more for electricity and 8 percent more for gas, Vastenlastenbond reported after examining eight major suppliers’ variable rates in January and July. The increase amounts to the average consumer spending 74.37 euros more on electricity and 198.783 euros more on gas per year.
According to the organization, the situation in the energy market is deteriorating even further, and many energy companies are looking at implementing monthly rate changes. “With the cold months ahead, thousands of consumers who are already barely making ends meet will be presented with an even higher energy bill every month,” said Dirk-Jan Wolfert, director of the Vastelastenbond.
“Government support in the form of VAT reduction will run until the end of this year, but the energy crisis is not expected to have disappeared yet. The government’s task is to offer citizens perspective,” said Wolfert. “It is time to start thinking about ways to help consumers.”