Household energy bill tripled

Old Dec 4th 2022, 8:56 am
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Default Household energy bill tripled

Even though usage was lower than last year and I got a modest refund, Vattenfall has tripled my monthly payment.
Yes, they're refunding 380 euros; but that only covers a small portion of the huge increase.

So is this the new reality? Because the cost is really huge. It's economy bending, the money to pay this does not exist. Either wages have to increase radically, or people will need to live in the cold, or move into smaller homes shared by more wage earners, or other radical changes.

I'm not really clear on the basis for their massive increase in payments; does this reflect current costs, or is it a hedge against possible future costs and a refund is to be expected?

I passed the bill onto my tenants and there has been an ominous silence. I hope they can cover it.

Historically, energy did cost this much or more. And people used a lot less of it. In our modern times, we don't find unheated homes and cold showers acceptable.
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Old Dec 4th 2022, 9:47 am
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Default Re: Household energy bill tripled

Tarriffs have soared everywhere.

Are you in the Netherlands? If so, the 2 x €190 payments in November and December are a temporary measure and from the government, not Vattenfall.
In the Netherlands there will be an Energy Price Ceiling from the beginning of 2023 (though not yet finalized).

If your consumption falls within what is considered to be 'normal usage' then both Gas and Electric consumption will be capped up the a certain level.
Above that level you will pay the going rate (if you are on a variable contract).

Gas: up to 1200m3 falls within the price restriction. Discounted price per m3 Gas within the limits: € 1,45

Electric: up to 2900 kWh. Discounted price per kWh Electric within the limits: € 0,40.

If you are on a fixed contract then there are no worries until renewal time.
The average consumption of electricity is actually 2400 kWh per year but they have increased the limit to stimulate more use of electricity over Gas.

NB: From 1 January the BtW (VAT) on energy goes up again from the temporary 9% to 21%.

Last edited by calman014; Dec 4th 2022 at 9:50 am. Reason: addition of extra info
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Old Dec 4th 2022, 7:30 pm
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Default Re: Household energy bill tripled

I'm not in NL, but my property is. That's why I'm a bit out of touch.
Still no reply from my tenants. Sort of a shocked silence I guess.
They have small children so lowering the heat is not a nice prospect.

So what's the word there? Are people freaking out? Turning off the lights and heat?

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Old Dec 4th 2022, 8:13 pm
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Default Re: Household energy bill tripled

Are they paying their own energy bills or do you pay it?
If you are not on a fixed price contract then the prices are much higher yes.

Right now no fixed price contracts are available but they have to start offering them again at start of 2023.

Of course everyone is angry about the price increases and doing their best to save on it.
Government is too soft on Energy companies just like in UK.
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Old Dec 4th 2022, 8:17 pm
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Default Re: Household energy bill tripled

Originally Posted by liveaboard
... Vattenfall has tripled my monthly payment. ...
Would that be een voorschot? And does your property have smart meters?

I'm not in NL - though I'm guessing that to be the country of your concern - I'm just down the road in BE.

Here we were smart metered around 18 months ago, and the supplier has just upped the advances for the forthcoming winter, presumably based on last winter, which we did receive a refund for.

Our gas price estimate is up 16%, electricity price is up 15%, both these based on anticipated consumption.

As per calman014's post, here in BE we will also receive 2 months of government support, those payments will be credited directly to our supplier and all will be revealed in the next re-evaluation.

We're not freaking out, but we have dropped the (gas) room heating by a couple of degrees for the winter and are paying a bit more attention to our use of electricity.
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Old Dec 4th 2022, 8:52 pm
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Default Re: Household energy bill tripled

Yeah, what you do depends a lot on the age of the house and the general setup. I just spent the last 5 years improving my house with a few additions including better windows, new boiler system, solar, airco/heatpump but even so we are not going crazy.

Setting boiler temperature for heating lower (to 60 if you can) and room thermostat to 19 can save you quite a bit. Also only heating the rooms you are using and having a thermostat with a timer...all makes a big difference.

I have the added benefit of an airco with heating function (Air/Air heat pump). You can take the edge off the cold in the mornings and let it run for an hour or two at about 1/3 the cost of gas.

Belgium also has special one-off payments for Oil fired heating users I believe..

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Old Dec 4th 2022, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: Household energy bill tripled

My tenants pay the bills, but the contracts are in my name. This has worked well for me for 20 years but nothing like this has happened before.
One property has a smart meter, the other does not. One is oil heated.
NL abhors oil, so there are no breaks provided. We have to buy full taxed diesel the same as is used for road vehicles. The oil heated place gets the 380 Euros though.

So now I'm hit with these monster bills and I have to pass them forward; of course I'll also pass on the rebates I get against my tenant's energy bills, but the amounts are small compared to the charges being levied.
It's up to the tenants to set the thermostats and do what they can to control costs.
But I'm the bank, I need to buffer their payments in such a way that neither them nor I get walloped by big surprises when billing time comes.

There is still huge demand for rental housing so if they can't afford to heat the place and decide to downsize, it's not the end of the world; I'll find new tenants easily enough. But they like the place, I like them, we're all happy together. It's not altruistic, happy tenants are profitable tenants and that goes both ways.

So what do I tell them about the extra 400 per month??? I don't want to spook my tenants, but I don't want to get stuck with the bill either.
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Old Dec 4th 2022, 9:26 pm
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Default Re: Household energy bill tripled

I suppose it depends a lot on what you put in your contracts when it comes to utilities.
Do you use any online facilities of Vattenfall to follow your consumption or adjust the (Pre) payments?

You need to get yourself on a fixed contract when the time comes...it's almost like fixing a mortgage these days!
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Old Dec 4th 2022, 10:41 pm
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Default Re: Household energy bill tripled

No, I never got into such minutia as trying to work it out month by month. It's enough work doing it once a year, with their diabolical billing.
After the first year, I synchronize the annual utility cost calculations with the energy bill. Then it's straightforward for a while.

The contract is that the tenant pays the costs; I've always felt that people should pay for what they use (and not pay for what they don't use).
These power contacts are 30 years old, I think I still have the yellow paper in my files.

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Old Dec 4th 2022, 10:48 pm
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Default Re: Household energy bill tripled

You might be able to rein in the costs a little by using the online facilities of Vattenfall..I'm with another supplier so can't give any specific tips.
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Old Dec 8th 2022, 10:17 pm
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Default Re: Household energy bill tripled

You're right, vattenfall has a page where I can lower the monthly payment, but not very far.

I've been going over the numbers and I can't get anywhere near the number they think I should pay. Even their own simulation page (working examples, it doesn't work my personal numbers though) says we should only have to pay a little more, not 300%.

The only explanation I can think of is the simulator that sets the monthly estimate went haywire and doesn't yet calculate in the price caps.
Which means everyone who pays this sort of thing will get a huge refund; that's nice if you have spare cash to lend to big energy companies this winter (at zero interest of course).
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Old Dec 8th 2022, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: Household energy bill tripled

Well I dont know what kind of contract you have, most likely a variable one. Once a year you will get the periodic bill with the new monthly estimate and any refund you are due.
Please note that they should have refunded you the first €190,- government rebate already direct to your bank account. Second one should be in beginning of January.
(Not all energy companies are following the rules and are simply deducting it from your end of year bill instead..) That's down to your choice of company.

Some time in the new year you will be able to choose a fixed contract again.

I suggest you go take a look at the site: GASLICHT.COM which is the best comparison site in NL.

Good luck.
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