The trading price for gas has calmed down somewhat, but the price is still four times higher than normal at this time of year.

Brussels has presented measures that governments can take to accommodate businesses and consumers.

If nothing happens, the energy bill will increase on average 900 euros next year.

"We now assume that," says Ben Woldering of comparison site Gaslicht.com in conversation with NU.nl.

He proposes that the outgoing cabinet temporarily lower the VAT on energy from 21 percent to 9 percent, so that the bill for consumers will in any case be lower.

"Energy is a primary necessity of life. Why is the plasterer covered by the low VAT rate and energy not?" he wonders.

The measures announced by the European Commission (EC) on Tuesday, some of which could take effect immediately, mainly target vulnerable households and therefore require customization.

Moreover, it is up to the national governments whether or not to get involved.

The costs could partly be covered by drawing on the revenues from the CO2 rights.

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Confluence of circumstances has pushed up gas prices

Indirectly, this is one of the reasons why gas has become so much more expensive.

"The fact that the raw gas price is now so much higher is due to a mix of factors," says Woldering.

This is partly because many coal-fired power stations are being replaced by gas-fired power stations, because burning coal has been made more expensive now that CO2 rights have to be paid for it.

"The prices of those rights have also doubled."

The increased gas price is also caused by low stocks, the sharp rise in demand after the corona crisis, maintenance of installations that was also postponed due to corona and the further closing of the gas tap in Groningen.

"We can't change the product price much at the moment," concludes Woldering.

If gas becomes more expensive, VAT revenue will rise further

The amount below the line on the energy bill is made up of that product price - gas and electricity - energy tax, transport and network costs, with VAT on the whole as a closing item.

“In ten years, the tax burden has more than doubled,” says the founder of the energy contract comparison site.

"But you now see that if the product price rises, the VAT increases accordingly."

According to Woldering, the base price is now so high that with a lower VAT rate, the revenue for the State could well remain the same.

Smaller companies have not yet been helped by this, because on balance they do not pay any VAT.

"The energy tax could be lowered for that group."

This option is also provided in the new package of the EC, but it remains the decision of the Dutch government.

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