Through the Tax and Customs Administration

Student housing complexes to get energy support

Photo: Pixabay

The Dutch government is looking to prevent people from paying through the nose for gas and electricity, which is why it has established a price cap. At the same time, the government is encouraging everyone to turn the heating down at least a degree.

However, the compensation only applies to a certain level of consumption, which is a problem for those sharing a central heating boiler, such as the tenants of a student housing complex. Taken together, it doesn't take long for the residents of the student complex to reach the limit. 

The Dutch Parliament has been asking the government to devise a solution for months. The response finally came last week, during a lengthy debate in which Minister Jetten announced plans to compensate people living in places with block heating through the Tax and Customs Administration (in Dutch, Belastingdiesnt).

The details are still being worked out but it will be a scheme “under which the owners or managers of a block with a collective grid connection can apply for a refund per housing unit,” explained Jetten. This means the compensation is going to be arranged via the landlord.

The minister is considering setting a fixed amount for the households concerned, which could be based, for example, on the average amount these households miss out on because they are above the price cap. But that was all Jetten could say at the moment.

Student Union
The Dutch Student Union is pleased that the government is taking block heating into consideration. “That can really make a difference for students,” states board member Midas Bosman.

However, he stressed that the measure does not solve the problem of students living in regular student accommodation. “The more students live in an apartment, the smaller the effect of the price cap will be. Those students will be hit twice because they don’t get the energy allowance either.”

The government had previously set up an energy allowance of 1,300 euros, which municipalities will be paying this year and next year to low-income households. Students are not eligible for that, with a few exceptions such as those living in cities that are giving the allowance to students with their own energy contracts. In Arnhem and Zwolle, all students are entitled to an energy allowance, as long as they can show that they are the ones paying for the gas and electricity costs.