Household energy bills increase sharply
13 February 2006
AMSTERDAM — Energy bills for households in the Netherlands with average gas and electricity usage increased by 7.5 percent in January compared with December 2005.
Statistics Netherlands (CBS) said on Monday the increase is due to higher wholesale energy costs. These, in turn, are blamed by the utility companies on high oil prices on the world markets. Other cost factors such as transport costs and energy taxes remain almost exactly what they were in December last year.
Electricity and gas prices have been climbing steadily in the Netherlands in recent years. On average households pay 65 percent more than in 2000 for energy. Gas bills have increased by 85 percent since 2000 and January 2006, while electricity increased by 40 percent during the same period.
The CBS said households pay an average of EUR 1,800 a year for energy. Supplying and delivery of the energy costs EUR 1,400 and the rest is made up of taxes and an environmental surcharge.
Separately on Sunday, junior environment minister Pieter van Geel gave another signal that the Netherlands will have to drop its longstanding antipathy to nuclear power.
Speaking on television programme ‘Buitenhof’, he said nuclear power was a “very serious option” for the Netherlands to cater for its future energy needs and meet its obligation to cut emissions of greenhouse gases.
The Netherlands currently has one operational nuclear power station at Borssele. The coalition government reversed its previous decision to close that station and it has now been given a new lease of life to 2033.
Van Geel indicated Borssele would be one of the obvious locations for a new nuclear power station.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news