Choosing the right energy or internet provider can be a daunting task. The Netherlands has a unique system with a vast number of providers offering packages catered to different lifestyles and needs. Also, keep in mind before you get started you’ll have to have proof of ID and residence. Usually, a rental or purchase contract along with an excerpt from the municipality (uittreksel) will do.
It’s no wonder many expats feel intimidated at the beginning of this process. Previous experience, insight as to what works, a network that can point you to the best options, and the ability to speak Dutch can be crucial for striking the best deal.
Don’t have any of those? Not a problem. This handy article will help you navigate the crowded scene. You might feel dizzy at first just by working out the intricate details of what makes one competitor superior to another but worry not. We’re here to show you how it’s done.
Keep in mind you can always cut down on the time, energy and effort put into reading up and conducting research into the different deals. Companies like PartnerPete offer advice on various combined deals available, not to mention service in English, so to take the lazy low-cost way out is to have them connect you.
According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, The Netherlands has the highest number of homes equipped with bandwidth connections in Europe.
In other words: you’re not alone in this journey. According to CBS (Statistics Netherlands), 98% of Dutch households have internet access in comparison to the European average of 87%, making the Netherlands amongst the highest in Europe.
The are several internet service providers in The Netherlands. At the moment, the most popular are:
The largest providers are KPN and Ziggo (and this includes their subsidiaries like Telfort).
Questions to ask yourself before you start looking
Before you choose the right provider, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions:
- What speed of Internet connection do you need and want?
- How many people are living in your household? Do they spend enough time at home for their activity to affect the quality of the connection?
- How fast would you like your package to be installed and how long would you like the contract to last for? Do you want flexible contracts?
- What would be the most ideal billing solution?
- Do you prefer to deal with providers online or via the phone?
- Have you already decided on a phone provider, and if not, would bundles be your cup of tea?
- How crucial is it to have access to English-speaking customer service 24/7?
- How quickly do you need it?
Also, don’t forget to check if a certain service provider is available in your area.
Types of available Internet connections in The Netherlands:
- Fibre Optic (not available everywhere)
Looking for a provider with English-speaking help? No problem. Most companies provide customer service in Dutch and English, though you might want to give them a test before settling for the provider. You never know when a catastrophe strikes – and you definitely don’t want to discover at that very time that your chosen company can barely offer advice in English, has poor responsiveness or poor customer service.
Worried about security? After the first wave of news about online surveillance came out in 2015, Dutch providers upped their game significantly, offering subscriptions to antivirus programmes and other software to help ensure a higher level of security.
Package deals on Internet
Most companies in the Netherlands offer package deals as well – which is where you can save some serious dough. Say, you can have electricity and internet, electricity and television, or electricity and phone service combined, which will decrease your financial setbacks.
ENERGY in The Netherlands
Before 1998, you’d have had a pretty easy task with choosing the right electricity provider. Back in the day, energy producers were responsible for selling the packages too. The high prices led to long-lasting, ever-increasing consumer dissatisfaction, which warranted state intervention. Come 1998, the problem was resolved: the state regulates the distribution of energy, and commercial firms are responsible for selling various packages to users across the country. You’ll get the same quality everywhere – what varies is the kind of services and subscriptions you get in addition, the speed of the service and the payment conditions, among other things.
Due to the heavy market competition, the options are numerous. To choose the most suitable bundle, you’ll want to determine what your priorities are, and what added bonuses you’d like the most. It’s sensible to outline how big your budget is per month, consider how many people are living in your home, how much electricity they consume on average, and how vital it is for you to have English-speaking customer service. This can come particularly handy when things aren’t going to plan. Say, if you suspect that you’ve been billed the incorrect amount; would like to cancel the contract before the original termination date, or have troubles with the service, customer service will be your first point of contact and so you’d like to make this as painless as possible.
It’s also worth mentioning that not all energy providers are available in all parts of the country and in some cases, you may be forced to use one provider over another because of availability. Most of the sites below will let you know if they can offer service in your area (by entering your address and postcode).
TenneT is the company responsible for providing energy. Everything else falls in the hands of mediator firms, of which there are innumerable. The most popular companies include:
- Huismerk Energie
- Budget Energie
Fortunately for all of us, Dutch policy-makers are much in favour of green energy. If you’re interested in alternative energy sources, including solar panels, you can secure some sweet sweet deals with the help of companies including:
- Huismerk Energie
These fare roughly the same prices as their non-renewable counterparts and some offer further discounts to help encourage people to make the switch.
How to tell apart the competitors? Some brands offer long-term, others only short-term contracts. Some offer additional services, including online communication opportunities, free installment, and a number of other extras. When it comes to choosing the best provider, you’ll want to do some due diligence first. If you have the opportunity, do consult with previous tenants: what would they do differently the second time around, how well did their energy provider work out, would there be any deals when it comes to recommending a friend, that kind of thing.
Setting up your energy and internet isn’t always easy. It takes some stamina, patience, and the willingness to sacrifice a chunk of your free time reading up about various providers. Spending some time and ensuring that the choice you end up going with is the very best will help you prevent future problems: missed bills, forgotten-about meter calculations, unexpected renovation costs, an unwarranted surge of prices in the winter season are just some of the troubles you might have to encounter whilst living in the new pad. It’s best to choose a company you know you can rely on – this way, if something goes awry, you can still count on having it sorted fast. Contact PartnerPete to sort it all out for you, get you great package deals, reduce your headaches, and get great customer service in English.