Cabinet asks energy companies to keep customers' lights on if they can't pay bills
Ministers Carola Schouten (Poverty Policy) and Rob Jetten (Energy) are meeting with energy suppliers on Friday to prevent people from getting their electricity and gas cut off because they cannot pay the bills. All options are on the table, Jetten said.
Schouten said that the Cabinet would do everything possible to prevent people from being cut off. “Those people just shouldn't be left out in the cold.”
Jetten said that he has been discussing this with energy companies all summer and that the Cabinet is willing to help if they cannot independently prevent people from having their lights turned off. According to the Energy Minister, measures don’t have to wait until Budget Day.
The Minsters are thinking of measures to help people most affected by the current high energy prices in the most targeted way possible. Schouten also wants to pay particular attention to the group of people who are already in debt.
State Secretary Hans Vijlbrief (Mining) is standing in for Jetten in Brussels at a meeting with other EU energy ministers to discuss possible European measures. Jetten hopes that energy savings will become mandatory for member states. “That is the fastest way to relieve pressure on energy prices.”
The Cabinet is also optimistic about a maximum price for gas coming from Russia via pipelines. Jetten is hesitant about a general maximum price, although he said he would look seriously at every idea the European Commission proposes. He fears that the taxpayer would indirectly still have to pay for this.
Reporting by ANP