THE HAGUE, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Dutch government has announced its plans for a cap on energy bills from Jan. 1, 2023 to protect consumers from rising prices.
The announcement came at a time when high energy bills are getting unaffordable for more and more households. For months, the government had not intervened in the energy market despite increasing prices, but a switch was made last week when the finance ministry reached a deal with energy companies.
Details of the deal are yet to be finalized, but the government has estimated that an average household will enjoy a discount of 2,280 euros (about 2,257 U.S. dollars) per year through this plan. The government expects at least half of the Dutch households to profit from the price cap.
The planned price ceiling for gas and electricity will also apply to small- and medium-sized businesses. In addition, work on a specific package to support high energy-consuming businesses, such as bakers and greenhouse growers, is in progress, according to the government.
Inflation in the Netherlands rose to another record high of 12 percent in August from 10.3 percent in July, according to the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
Energy prices remained the primary driving force behind this growth, which were 151 percent more expensive in August than in the same month a year earlier.