This is perhaps one of the most important things to arrange when you move to the Netherlands: budget energy. Without gas, electricity, and water, it's impossible to live in an apartment, of course. College Life knows you need budget energy and don't want to spend too much time looking for it. That's why we've put our heads together to find you the best solution: UnitedConsumers. This guide will tell you if you need to find an energy provider, what the specifics are, and how you can sign up.

Image of budget energyIf you need an energy supplier

When you rent a room or apartment in the Netherlands, your gas/water/electricity is often included in your rent. If this is the case, you will see "GWL incl." (or "gas/water/licht inclusief") in the description. Then you are covered, and don't need to worry about finding an energy supplier yourself. Lucky you!

If you see "GWL excl." (or gas/water/licht exclusief) this means that gas/water/electricity costs are not included in your rent. In this case, you'll have to find a supplier yourself. UnitedConsumers provides you with competitive prices for green energy, and is a great company to consider when you move to the Netherlands.

It's best to be well-informed about how energy works and what you can expect to pay. Make sure you have clear communication with your renter/landlord, and that what is decided on energy costs is specified in your contract. It is smart to then monitor yourself about how much energy you are using. There is a meter in your house (ask your landlord where) where you can see around how many kWh of energy you're using.

This might all sound daunting, but no worries; College Life has your back.

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What is included

It is exactly as it sounds. The gas you'll need often for cooking and sometimes for your heating. Electricity for light and oftentimes for heating. Water, of course, for bathrooms and drinking/cooking.

Do note, "GWL incl." means these costs are all included in your rent. If you have "GWL excl." and need to find your own energy providers, this energy provider can only provide energy and gas. Water is arranged through your local government and provided by companies in specific regions. See the water section below for more information on this.

How energy billing works

The Dutch energy supply market is liberalized, and this is great for many reasons. This means you can choose from a variety of energy sources, for example, green energy. Furthermore, you can decide which energy supplier you want, which means energy companies are doing their best to keep prices down to attract more customers. Bottom line: you're in good hands.

Energy billing goes via your landlord if you have "GWL incl." This means he/she determines the monthly fee you'll pay for your utilities.

If you have "GWL excl." and your landlord does not yet have a contract with an energy supplier, you'll have to find your own energy provider. To determine how much energy costs you will have to pay each month, the supplier will make a yearly estimate of your energy use based on your neighborhood trends, the number of people living in your house, among other factors.

Based on this yearly estimate, a monthly premium will be determined. You must pay this amount every month to the energy supplier. Then, at the end of the billable year, they will check how much energy you actually used. If you used less than you were charged for, you will get some money back. If, however, you use more energy than was in your contract, you'll have to pay extra at the end of the year.

On average, you can expect to spend around 100 euros per month for your energy, totaling around 1200 euros per year. However, if you are conservative with your energy use and do your best to cut back on energy use, these costs could decrease!

How to connect your utilities

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Easy. When on the UnitedConsumers website, you'll be asked to fill in your expected energy consumption and your address, and the rest will be calculated for you. If you aren't sure how much energy you expect to use, you can fill in your address and with how many people you live, and an estimate will be provided for you.


When you choose an energy supplier, you are only choosing a supplier for gas and electricity. Water is handled differently in the Netherlands. Certain companies have monopolies over different regions in the Netherlands to ensure that water is provided at the best possible price in the most efficient manner. Therefore, you cannot choose your water provider, but must choose the water provider corresponding to your region. For example, the water provider for Rotterdam is Evides. You can be assured that their prices are fair because these companies are all heavily government regulated.

To get in touch with your water provider company, type your city and "wateraansluiting aanvragen" (ask for a water connection) into an internet search bar. The first option that comes up will be the water provider you need to get in touch with. You must contact your water supplier when you move (either within the same provider region or out of it), when you want to cancel your contract, or when you want to start a contract. Here is a list of the major cities in the Netherlands and their respective energy suppliers:

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Why UnitedConsumers is the best

  1. If you are already with another energy provider, UnitedConsumers will pay the cancellation fee for your other contract.
  2. When you join UnitedConsumers, you get a 70 euro welcome discount.
  3. UnitedConsumers provides wind budget energy, and wind energy is good for the environment.

At UnitedConsumers, you can choose between fixed or variable energy prices.

Fixed Budget Energy

With fixed energy prices, you choose to stay with UnitedConsumers for 1 or 3 years. Your energy prices stay the same for your contract period and do not fluctuate with market price changes.

  • 1 year contract: You get a 70 euro discount when you sign on with UnitedConsumers and get fixed energy tariffs.
  • 3 year contract: You get a 70 euro discount when you sign on with UnitedConsumers and fixed energy tariffs. Furthermore, you get 30 euro discount every year with the chance of getting around 75 euros discount in addition. And, of course, 100% wind energy.

Variable Budget Energy

With variable pricing, your energy prices fluctuate with the prices of leading market providers. Whatever these companies ask, UnitedConsumers asks for 1 euro less per unit.

Sign up for budget energy now

Some lightbulbs might be lighting up over your head as you're realizing UnitedConsumers is the best energy option for you. So how do you sign up for this budget energy we keep talking about? Go here and simply type in your details, and you can have an energy contract up and running within 5 minutes!