In most of the apartments we represent, you are responsible yourself for the utilities contract. Read this article what to take into account regarding electricity and gas. In the Netherlands gas is used for the boiler in your apartment that provides heating and hot water and sometimes for your cooking stove.
Finding a utility company
Finding a utility company is not that difficult. Finding a supplier that has a clear working process, an online system in which you can manage your account and a service minded helpdesk can be challenging. You could give it a try on this site where comparisons are made between different suppliers. Unfortunately none of the suppliers has a website in English. Therefore give the utility company a call and ask them for help with your registration.
What info do you need for registration?
If you arrive in your apartment, take pictures of the electricity and gas meter. See picture below how meters look like. This is the starting point for your group and these figures will be communicated later on to the utility company. (VERY IMPORTANT!) Read more about the electricity meter (use google translate for English)
Register at the utilities company soon after your arrival. They will ask for your name, date of birth, bank account number and of course your full address. Registration can be done online or via the helpdesk of the supplier. Once registered, a contract will be sent to your home address within a few days.
Not registering means that electricity and gas will be cut off by Stedin, the network operator. Connecting to the network again will cost approx. 150 euro per utility… Those cost have to be paid by tenants themselves.
Stedin realizes a safe, reliable and affordable energy supply for over 2 million customers. Via utility suppliers, customers pay for their services. This is specified on invoices. They do this by constructing, managing and future-proofing of the electricity and gas networks and, on the other hand, by facilitating the energy market. Stedin is a network operator in most of the Randstad, including The Hague, Utrecht, Rotterdam and the Rijnmond port and Botlek area.
Payment of utilities
On basis of the consumption figures of the past for your apartment, the supplier will charge you a monthly provisional amount (a money pot is created to pay your real consumption in the end). The provisional amount will be withdrawn automatically from your account. So take care of a sufficient balance and ask your house mates to pay their share in time. Provisional amounts can be changed, but keep in mind that 50 euro per month is the average amount to pay per tenant per month.
By the time you are leaving the apartment, at the end of the contract or a change in the flat group, a final invoice will be made on basis of the actual figures on the meters. Figures do not lie… So if your consumption is high, you most probably have to pay an additional amount in the end. But you have influence in how much you pay! Decrease the thermostat when you are not at home. Close windows in winter. Do not take long showers, etc, etc.
Terminating utility contract
As stated above, you are responsible for the contract. So terminating the contract has to be initiated by yourself too. This has to be done 1 day prior before the last tenant will check out from the apartment. Take pictures of the meters. Call the utility company. Mention the postal code and street number of your apartment and tell the agent you are going to move and terminate the agreement or you ask for a yearly invoice. In the last case, you are staying in the apartment and want to make a final calculation for last year so that you will start with a blanc balance again and know what your consumption was. The invoice will be send approximately 2 or 3 weeks later.
In most apartments there is a heating system consisting of a boiler using gas as fuel. You rule the whole system with the thermostat that can be found on the wall in a general space/in the shared living room. You have to leave all radiator valves of the raditor itself open in all rooms. Just increase or decrease the heat by choosing the right temperature on the thermostat and the system will work properly. Next to this, you will not be surprised in the end by the invoice you receive from your supplier. If the boiler is working constantly because you leave the thermostat on 21 degrees, but close the valves on the radiators, a lot of gas will be consumed. The thermostat tells the boiler that it should heat the apartment. Consequently the boiler will start working every 10 minutes. If it notices that it can not lead the hot water to the radiators because they are closed, it will stop the process and will start it again every 10 minutes…
In Summer put the thermostat on 15 degrees. Then your heating system will be stand by but not consuming a lot of gas. Ruling the temperature with the thermostat is very important
In some apartments we have ‘Stadsverwarming’. This is a heating network. The heat comes from -for example- a manufacturer or waste company. They supply houses with heat. Normally their heat would be lost, but with this system they recycle it.
If hot water is asked from the heating system, the system will give priority to this task. This means the heating will start working as soon as nobody asks hot water in the house.
What if the heating is not working properly or there is no hot water?
Report this to the desk manager by e-mail. Please include a picture of the display of the heating system in your message, as well as a picture containing the type number of the system.