Energy company Essent lowers prices, but remains more expensive than price ceiling

All customers of energy company Essent with a variable contract will pay half less from 1 April.

That new rate is still above the price ceiling of the government. So only people who consume more electricity and gas than the limit benefit from that ceiling.

According to the energy company, this concerns about half of the people with a variable tariff. The new rates apply through June.

On April 1, the rate for electricity will be reduced by 52 percent to about 0.48 euros per kilowatt hour. Essent customers pay 47 percent less for gas: 1.82 euros per cubic meter. The rates for the price ceiling are 0.40 euros per kilowatt hour of electricity and 1.45 euros per cubic meter of gas.

Saving energy remains important

Essent is not the first energy supplier to lower its tariffs. Budget Energie has already dipped below the price ceiling. Vattenfall is still above that, but regular customers with a loyalty discount do end up lower than the guaranteed maximum rate. Saving energy therefore remains important, says Essent top woman Resi Becker.

Before the price cap came into effect, energy companies said that about a quarter of households would consume more than the price cap limits. But at Essent this appears to be much higher. “I am impressed how many people are more aware of their energy consumption. Taking the next step in making your home more sustainable will help you get even more control over your energy bill,” says Becker.

Fixed contracts

In addition to lower variable rates, Essent also says it wants to offer permanent contracts again. That should happen in the spring. New rules from the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) must come into effect on 1 April, allowing energy companies to request a higher fine from customers who terminate their permanent contract prematurely. That should give them the certainty to purchase more gas and electricity for the longer term.

Industry competitor Eneco has already started offering permanent contracts. The prices at that energy company are just above those of the price ceiling, which means that the permanent contract is especially interesting for households that consume more than the 2900 kilowatt hours of electricity and 1200 cubic meters of gas for which the rates are subject to an upper limit.