Getting utilities connected in the Netherlands
A guide to connecting utility services to your Dutch home, including water, electricity and gas providers, plus information on post offices and decorating your home.
If you're renting a property in the Netherlands, your lease agreement should indicate if additional charges, such as utility bills, are included in your monthly payments. It is common for montly rent charges to include utility payments, in which case your landlord must issue you with an account (eindafrekening) showing utility payments and real costs at least once a year. If you're looking for information on connecting to Dutch communications, see Expatica's guide to connecting television, internet, telephone or mobile services in the Netherlands.
If you have bought a Dutch property or ulities are not included in your rental agreement, you might be able to get utility services transferred to your name from the previous tenant, or get Dutch utilities connected using the main utility providers for your area.
Connecting utilities in the Netherlands
In many cases, the utilities (gas, water and electricity) will already be connected and you just need to transfer them into your name. If you are paying an inclusive rent, check your contract carefully for what is covered in the monthly sum.
Connecting water in the Netherlands
There are two elements of water payments: a consumption charge based on actual water usage (which is estimated if you don’t have a meter) and a municipal tax for services (sewage, maintenance, etc.). To see which water company covers your area, visit www.vewin.nl and enter your postcode in the box Uw drinkwaterbedrijf, or ask at your local gemeente.
Main water suppliers in the Netherlands:
- Amsterdam: Waternet 0900 9394
- Den Haag/Leiden: Dunea 088 347 4747
- Rotterdam: Evides: 0900 0787
- Utrecht: Vitens 0900 0650
- North Holland: PWN Waterleidingbedrijf 0900 405 0700
Connecting electricity and gas in the Netherlands
The energy market is liberalised, so you are able to choose (or change) suppliers. Most have ‘green’ options, where energy is bought from alternative sources such as sun, wind, water and biomass.
Regulatory authorities ensure fair practices and tariffs. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (www.acm.nl) provides a list of gas and electricity suppliers on their website, or you can use their consuWijzer (in Dutch) to compare prices or seek advice. On www.energievergelijken.nl, you can compare prices in English and connect your services online.
Main electricity and gas suppliers in the Netherlands:
- Budget Energie: www.budgetenergie.nl
- Electrabel: www.electrabel.nl
- Eneco: www.eneco.nl
- Energie Direct: www.energiedirect.nl
- E.ON: www.eon.nl
- Essent: www.essent.nl
- Greenchoice: www.greenchoice.nl
- Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij: www.nle.nl
- Nuon: www.nuon.nl
- Oxxio: www.oxxio.nl
Post offices in the Netherlands
Post offices are marked with an orange sign that says postkantoor or PostNL and generally located inside shops, newsagents or tobacconists (postagentschap). Formerly TNT, the company changed its name in 2011.
Stamps (postzegels) can be bought in all of the above places and in some of the larger supermarkets, or printed online atwww.postnl.nl. Post-boxes are orange and scattered throughout shopping areas and neighbourhoods. On the post-box there are two slots: the right (streekpost) is for ‘local’ delivery and you’ll see a list of postcodes that indicate the areas included; the left (overige bestemmingen) is for everywhere else, including international destinations.
PostNL aims to deliver locally within 24 hours, otherwise spoedservice guarantees local delivery by 10am the next day and next day delivery to Europe. In 2014, PostNL started trialling evening and Sunday deliveries for certain online shopping, including the delivery of chilled foods. Seewww.postnl.nl for online postal services, or call 0900 0990 (45ct) for customer service.
Furnishing your home
- Advice: www.access-nl.org
- Film: www.filmladder.nl
- Government: www.government.nl
- News, information, community: www.Expatica.com
- Opera: www.dno.nl
- Restaurants: www.iens.nl
- Royal family: www.koninklijkhuis.nl
- Telephone directory/Yellow pages: www.detelefoongids.nl
- Tourism: www.holland.com
- Weather: www.hetweer.nl
- Website links (by category): www.startpagina.nl
Tip: If you are looking for a surname that begins with a de, van, van der, etc. you must look under the name that follows. IJ is read as a 'y' and therefore is listed at the end of the alphabet.
Need advice? Post your question on Expatica's free Ask the Expert service to see if we can help.
Updated from 2012.