Utilities, internet, taxes and other household bills
Once you have found a new home in The Hague region, it’s important to set up utility contracts as soon as possible, unless these are included with your rent. When it comes to house utilities, you have a choice between various energy providers, whereas water is supplied and billed automatically. There is also a range of municipal taxes that most households need to pay.
Household and Utility Bills
If you own your own property, you should expect to pay for water, electricity, and gas (with the exception of newer homes, which don’t have gas connections). You can choose your energy provider. Your water company is determined by your geographical region.
If you’re a tenant, then the first thing to check is your rental contract – if you pay rent inclusief (inclusive), all utility bills and sometimes an internet connection are included. Your contract must legally include a section breaking down what your rent includes – utilities are often marked as g/w/l (gas, water, light).
If you rent an ‘inclusive rent’ property, make sure to ask your landlord for a year-end utilities statement as you may have under- or overpaid throughout the year. If you have underpaid, you may be required to cover the difference. If you have overpaid, you may be owed the difference.
If your rent is exclusief (‘exclusive’), gas, water, electricity, and internet costs are your own responsibility. This means that you are free to switch to an energy and internet provider of your choice.
Gas and Electricity
Gas for household use is piped into almost all homes in the Netherlands, although there are plans to phase it out. Electricity in the Netherlands is produced from various sources, including coal-fired power stations and wind farms. Your energy provider supplies both gas and electricity. You can compare different energy providers that operate in your area to choose the one that works best for you. Many providers in the Netherlands offer green energy.
Unless gas and electricity are included in your rent, it is important to quickly choose your energy provider for your new home. Arrange a gas and electricity contract as soon as you can. Power is usually kept on for the first few days, but it will be switched off as soon as the previous occupants close their account. When moving into a new home, note the meter reading and notify the energy supplier.
Choosing an Energy Supplier
In the Netherlands, customers can choose their own energy supplier from a range of providers in their area.
The major energy providers in the Netherlands are:
- Eneco Energie
- Green Choice
- Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij
There are various platforms and comparison websites in the Netherlands where you can compare energy providers, their prices, and services. The Consumentenbond (in Dutch), Pricewise (In Dutch) and Energie Vergelijk are a good start. And Greenpeace has a ranking of green energy providers. Some providers offer green energy (groene stroom) – electricity produced from renewable sources such as wind, solar, organic matter, or waterpower – as an additional option, others are dedicated green providers.
Tap water in the Netherlands is clean and safe for drinking. Water in The Hague region is provided by Dunea and originates from the dunes between Katwijk and Monster. When moving into a new house it’s generally not necessary to contact the water company – billing changes are made automatically when the rental contract or mortgage is set up.
Utility and Internet Contracts
Most utility providers offer an initial contract for 12 months, often including a lower-cost introductory rate for the first three months for new customers. Customers have the right to switch provider after a year without penalty fees. If you are in the Netherlands for a shorter time, you are more likely to be in accommodation that has utilities and services included. You can also consider signing up with one of our utilities partners who can help you find the best offers, from internet to electricity.
In order to sign a contract, you will usually need the following documentation:
- Valid proof of identity (not a driving licence)
- Bank account (details or card)
- In some cases, you may need to show a credit check, especially for mobile phone plans
For utilities around the house, providers may also ask for:
- Rental contract
- Residence permit (if applicable)
- Employment contract (if applicable)
Internet and Other Services
You can compare prices for internet, TV, and landline connections at the Consumentenbond website (in Dutch).
Internet: Broadband, DSL and Cable
The main service providers in the Netherlands all offer competitive rates on different types of bundles. These vary from all-inclusive packages that cover broadband, a telephone line, and TV to basic internet connections. Most of these providers offer state-of-the-art fibre-optic broadband coverage, but cable and DSL connections are still available if preferred. Generally, prices will start around €20-25 a month for a basic internet connection, and go up to €80 a month for all-inclusive bundles.
There are a number of TV providers which offer various packages, including cable and satellite. Most international programmes (with the exception of children’s shows) are broadcast in the original language with Dutch subtitles. But watching original Dutch television can also be a great way to learn the language.
Most of the service providers for internet and TV also offer an option to include a phone line in your package.
What Taxes Should I Expect to Pay?
The types of local property taxes that you pay depend on whether you rent or own your property. You should expect to receive the bills each year in February. For more information about the various charges and payment methods, check the website of your local municipality.
Taxes for All Households
Taxes payable by every household include waste tax (afvalstoffenheffing), which is generally calculated depending on the number of people in your household, and wastewater tax (rioolheffing). Homeowners and landlords also need to pay the water authority tax (waterschapsbelasting). This is paid to your local water board and used to maintain dykes, sewers, and other water management facilities. And, of course, to generally keep everyone’s feet dry – remember, much of the Netherlands is below sea level!
Homeowners and landlords also need to pay property taxes (onroerendezaakbelasting/OZB). If you own a property, you will receive a municipal property tax bill (woonlastennota) each February, stating the amount of property tax you must pay. This is calculated based on the value of your property (the WOZ value). Please note that if you live in a houseboat, you pay a slightly different tax called roerende zaakbelasting, and will also have to pay for the ‘rent’ of your mooring.
Also note that those with diplomatic privileges, including consular staff or employees of international treaty organisations (known as gepriviligeerden) may be exempt from paying certain taxes. These include property tax, dog tax, and water authority taxes. Read more in the Protocol Guide of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.