How to find the best energy provider in the Netherlands

As an expat, foreign student or otherwise (temporary) resident of the Netherlands, you often have to arrange an energy contract for your new home. But how do you find the best energy supplier in the Netherlands for your specific situation? That can be quite a struggle, and we’d like to help you with that. After reading this article you know which type of energy contract and which energy supplier probably suits you best.

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To decide which Dutch energy provider is best for you, we always advise to make an energy comparison for your address and specific household size. You can do this by using our energy comparison tool or by going directly to the energy provider’s website. By comparing energy contracts you know which supplier is cheapest based on their tariffs, taxes and discounts, and which provider has the best terms and conditions.

Before we explain how to find the best energy supplier, you should know that when you move to the Netherlands, you’ll need an energy contract in your own name.

Energy contracts in the Netherlands are person-bound, unless your landlord takes care of the energy bill (with an all-in rent structure). So make sure to check with your landlord if an energy contract is included with your rental contract. In that case your energy contract is already settled.

💡 Follow the next 3 steps to find the best Dutch energy provider for you:

1. Choose which type of energy contract you want and know the differences, taking into account the length of your stay.

2. Decide what kind of energy provider serves your needs: a well known and trustworthy brand, the cheapest energy provider or one that has an English speaking customer service?

3. Based on the previous answers: compare multiple energy providers for your address and household size and choose the cheapest one available.

The different types of energy contracts in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands you’ll find 3 types of energy contracts to choose from:

  • Fixed price energy contract (vast) - same tariffs during your contract term
  • Short-term energy contract (variabel) - tariffs change every month or quarter year, depending on your provider
  • Dynamic price energy contract (dynamisch) - tariffs change daily

With all contracts you pay for energy consumption, grid management costs, administration fees and taxes. All these tariffs and prices are included in the total costs as they will be shown on the energy suppliers website or in our energy comparison tool.

All three types of energy contracts have pros and cons that you should know about. We’ll explain them in short.

Fixed price energy contract

  • Certainty about your contract tariffs for 1 to 3 years
  • Most often the cheapest contract because of newcomer discounts
  • When energy market prices change during your contract term, your contract might not longer be the cheapest for you
  • You can’t switch to another energy contract before the enddate of your contract without paying a high cancellation fee

Short-term energy contract

  • You can cancel your energy provider after 1 month (or switch to another), without having to worry about a cancellation fee
  • When the energy market prices go down, you profit from lower tariffs immediately
  • Less price certainty about your contract, mostly for one to three months
  • When energy market prices go up, you will pay higher contract tariffs immediately
  • Only sometimes discounts

Dynamic price energy contract

  • Cheap cost price (energy market) tariffs
  • Can be a good choice when you work from home a lot and use a lot of energy during the day
  • Can be the cheapest contract if you control your energy consumption on an hourly basis (via app)
  • Can be cancelled daily after 1 month
  • Least certainty about your tariffs, they change every day
  • Not the best choice with solar panels, because of possible negative feed-in fees
  • No discounts for new customers
  • Can be very expensive during the winter months when energy market prices go up

While you're choosing an energy contract type, we suggest you also take into account the length of your stay. Are you staying shortly in the Netherlands, or for an indefinite period?

When your living situation in the Netherlands is only temporary

Will you live in the Netherlands for less than a year? Then it’s best to choose a short-term energy contract or dynamic prices. You can cancel these energy contracts after the first month, without extra costs.

💡 Cancellation fee warning
Be aware that if you choose a fixed price energy contract and you will cancel this contract before the end of the contract term, your energy provider will charge you with a cancellation fee. Cancellation fees can now cost many hundreds of euros since the rules and regulations by the Autoriteit Consument & Markt (ACM) have changed. Therefore it’s best to avoid a cancellation fee.

When you will live in the Netherlands for at least a year

Will you live in the Netherlands for at least one year or longer? Then it’s almost always a smart decision to choose a fixed price energy contract with a one year duration.

Not only will you know exactly what tariffs you will pay for every kWh of electricity and m3 gas, most often this is also the cheapest energy contract. Many energy suppliers give some kind of discount to new customers, which can take up to more than 300 euros at the moment, depending on the size of your household and address.

Therefore make sure to make an energy comparison between 1 year fixed contracts for your address if you will stay in the Netherlands for quite a wile.

Which energy suppliers are there in the Netherlands?

Now that you know about the kinds of energy contracts which to choose from in what situation, let’s talk in short about the energy suppliers themselves. Which providers can you choose from?

The Dutch energy market is a privatized market since 2004. Therefore the Netherlands counts up to about 50 energy providers for households, quite a lot. All of them are under the supervision of the ACM. This party regulates all energy suppliers on fair tariffs and practices.

Some of the energy suppliers are small and have only a few hundred customers (locally). But quite a big group of more than 20 energy suppliers provide energy throughout the whole Netherlands. They are better known and more trustworthy. These energy suppliers have over 10.000 customers each. You can compare most of them on our website with our energy comparison tool.

Biggest energy suppliers in the Netherlands

Most households in the Netherlands - nearly 8 million - have a fixed price - or short-term energy contract with one of the following biggest energy suppliers:

These biggest energy suppliers have a trackrecord of many years in the business and are financially stable. Not a bad decision to choose one of these big suppliers. Do know that very often these big suppliers don't have the cheapest energy contracts in comparison.

Biggest dynamic energy providers in the Netherlands:

Cheapest energy providers in the Netherlands

Are you looking for generally the cheapest Dutch energy providers with a fixed price contract? The following energy suplliers are the cheapest for most households at this moment. We’ve tested this for different household sizes.

Do know that the cheapest energy provider depends on many factors and changes over time. Therefore it's best to verify if one these three providers it also the cheapest for your situation with our energy comparison page.

Dutch energy providers with an English (online) customer service

Is it really important to you that the energy provider communicates in English with you? Many Dutch energy providers have an English speaking customer support, or translate the chat conversation for you in English. We know the following energy providers have an English (chat) support.

Dutch energy providers with an English customer webpage:

Two energie suppliers in particular also have an English customer webpage to help you with an energy contract.

Signing-up with a Dutch energy provider without a Dutch IBAN

Now that you know which Dutch energy providers you can chose from, we also want to make clear that some of them make it easier for you to sign-up than others.

Unfortunately, even though this is not according to regulation, some energy providers allow customers to sign-up only with a Dutch IBAN. You could argue about this with your energy provider, if this is the case for you. Or you could directly sign-up with one of the following energy providers through our website orderflow:

Signing-up with one of these energy providers through our website, you are guaranteed the possibility to sign-up with a non-Dutch IBAN as well, if you don't have a Dutch bank account (yet).

Are you ready to register for an energy contract? In this blog we will explain to you how to sign up with a Dutch energy provider.

Wrapping up: this will help you find the best Dutch energy provider for your situation

When you (temporarily) move to the Netherlands, finding an energy provider can be a bit of a hustle. It comes down to the following steps:

  • Choose what kind of energy contract you want or need, taking into consideration the length of your stay. Make sure you know the differences, pros and cons between the contract types.
  • Decide what kind of energy supplier is important to you: a well known and big brand, the cheapest one and/or a provider with an English speaking customer service?
  • Go directly to each of the energy provider websites and compare their prices and tariffs for your situation. Or use our free energy comparison tool to make the comparison for you. Make sure you turn on Google Translate, if the Dutch language is a problem.
  • Make sure to chose an energy provider that accepts non-Dutch IBAN as well, if you don't (yet) have a Dutch back account. You always register your contract with the supplier itself.

The biggest and most reliable energy suppliers in the Netherlands are Vattenfall, Essent, Eneco. These also have an English customer support.

Generally the cheapest energy providers for most households at this moment are: Innova Energie, UnitedConsumers and Oxxio. Not all of them have an English customer support.

Are you lastly also looking for an internet provider in the Netherlands? Then make sure you check our advice on the best internet provider in the Netherlands. We sorted them out for you.

Now, get started to get the best Dutch energy provider by comparing energy.