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Rising energy prices: what this means for tenants

11 nov 2021

Rising energy prices: what this means for tenants
You’ve probably heard about gas and electricity becoming more expensive. Here’s some information about how our pricing system works, together with some tips for keeping your bills as low as possible.

What you pay for

  • Tenants living in shared buildings pay an amount towards the energy used in communal areas, e.g. for lighting and heating hallways and recreation rooms, and powering the lift.
  • Most residential buildings make use of district heating. Tenants living in these buildings pay us an advance amount every month for gas used in communal areas as well as in their own unit and room.
  • In addition, tenants renting certain apartments and studios have their own direct energy contracts for the gas and electricity used in their own accommodation. These bills are paid directly to the energy company, which means we don’t have any control over them.

How you are billed

Tenants who pay towards communal energy costs, or who have district heating in their accommodation, pay for this via our service costs. At the end of each year, you receive a final bill to balance the actual amount. Sometimes this means topping up with an extra payment. Sometimes you get money back. The less energy the building uses, the lower your final bill.

How Stadswonen sets the energy price

We purchase the energy for all our residential buildings in bulk and then spread the costs to tenants over the year. Buying energy this way gives us more certainty about the price over a prolonged period of time. (A strategy agreed through discussions with tenants’ representation.) The price we pay is made up of the energy tariff (cost per unit) + standing charges and surcharges. Although buying our energy like this gives us control over the tariff, we have no control over fluctuations in the standing charge and surcharges.

Will tenants have to pay more in 2022?

We have already fixed our energy tariff for 2022, but we cannot control the standing charges and surcharges. That is why we cannot yet say how much you will need to pay in 2022.  

What you can do to keep your energy bills as pow as possible

It takes a collective effort to get energy use as low as possible. Using less energy results in lower bills and less harm to the environment. Getting all your housemates and fellow residents on board gives you the best chance of a good result. Want some inspiration? Check out the energy race that three of our residential buildings participated in in 2018.

Here are some general tips for saving energy:

  • Wear warmer clothes, e.g. an extra sweater and thicker socks. Try lowering the thermostat on the heating by a half to one degree.
  • Set the heating to 15 degrees at night, or 17 or 18 if you have underfloor heating.
  • Turn the heating down half an hour before going out or going to bed. If that works out OK, try extending this to an hour.
  • Keep ventilation grilles open and open a window now and then to let fresh air in. Fresh, dry air heats up faster than dirty, moist air.
  • If the heating doesn’t seem to be working properly or is making a gurgling or knocking noise, you should bleed the radiators. Check out this how-to video (in Dutch).
  • Hang radiator foil behind the radiators. You can do this with magnets. You don’t have to attach anything to the wall. You can buy radiator foil at a hardware store.

  • Keep your showers as short as possible and then dry the shower with a squeegee. Let fresh air into the bathroom while showering, because fresh, dry air heats up faster.
  • Use a water-saving shower head.
  • Set your shower to a low(er) temperature.

  • Use the right sized burner/ring for each pan. In other words, don't put a small pan on a large burner.
  • Cook large batches of food that will last for a few days.
  • When preparing rice or pasta, add it straight into boiling water, then remove the pan from the heat, cover it with a lid, and place it under your duvet for about 15 minutes. This results in the rice and pasta being cooked without using extra gas or electricity.
  • Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms.
  • Do not put devices on standby, switch them off properly.
  • Unplug chargers when no devices are actually charging.
  • Use LED lights.

Do you have any of your own tips to share, or questions to ask? Don’t hesitate to email us at so we can talk about them.

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11 nov 2021 - News items

Rising energy prices: what this means for tenants

You’ve probably heard about gas and electricity becoming more expensive. Here’s some information about how our pricing system works, together with some tips for keeping your bills as low as possible.

Read more