Energy prices have been on our minds for some time now. More and more people are therefore interested in a dynamic energy contract. Those prices change continuously based on the energy trade exchange. But how do you compare those dynamic energy contracts and how do you know whether you are making the best choice?
With a dynamic energy contract you pay for the real purchase price of electricity and gas. “At the bottom of the line, you pay the same for that basic purchase price from all suppliers, because they all purchase on virtually the same stock exchange,” explains Joris Kerkhof, energy expert at Independer.
Not every energy supplier offers these prices on its website in the same way for new customers. ,,One looks daily at the basic purchase price and changes that offer for new customers every day. Other suppliers only change it once a month on their website. Ultimately, as an existing customer, you pay the same purchase price. This makes it difficult to compare,” says Kerkhof.
The difference in price is ultimately in the purchase surcharge and standing costs. Kerkhof: “Energy suppliers charge a surcharge per kilowatt hour and per cubic meter, which can differ from 5, 10 or 15 cents. That depends, for example, on the choices you make when it comes to green electricity and how many risks you take in your purchasing. You also pay standing costs, which can vary per supplier from, for example, 5 to 10 euros per month.”
Price is not always the most important factor
“Although it is more interesting in terms of price to go for a supplier where you pay 5 cents for the purchase surcharge, instead of 10 cents with another supplier, the second option may be greener,” says Kerkhof. According to him, a dynamic energy contract is about issues such as sustainability, green electricity and whether the supplier also offers a charging station or battery, for example. “Because the basic price is the same everywhere, other things are involved.”
In a dynamic energy contract, it is also about the extremity in price fluctuations. “If you don’t want extremely high prices, check your contract to see how quickly prices are adjusted on the wholesale market, from day to day or even from hour to hour, and whether there is a limit,” says Machiel Mulder, professor of Energy economics at the University of Groningen. “If you are concerned with making as much profit as possible, see if you as a household are able to adjust your power consumption. Then you can make a calculation in which situation you are the cheapest. But of course that requires some knowledge, so you have to be able to understand that.”
“It is especially important to know whether you have the equipment to adjust your energy consumption,” says Mulder. For example, with a heat pump you can play more with the time when you turn it on, because such a pump stores the heat generated in a buffer. “So there is a delay. With an electric car you can also play with the moment of charging. And if you also have a battery, you are completely flexible.”
“Solar panels also play a role,” says Kerkhof. “The amount you get back from generating solar energy depends on when it is generated. If you generate and feed in power at noon, the feed-in rates are sometimes negative because the power is cheap at that time. Then you sometimes even have to pay extra afterwards.”
With a dynamic energy contract you can also contribute to congestion management. “Then power is better distributed and the grid is less loaded,” explains Kerkhof.
The advance amount
As you are used to with a fixed or variable contract, you often pay a monthly advance amount with a dynamic energy contract. How that amount is determined differs per supplier. Kerkhof: ,,Some suppliers charge an average advance amount. At the end of the year, they check how much you have paid and that is deducted from the actual amount.” There are also suppliers where you pay the actual amount. You pay that at the end of each month. In the summer you might pay 200 euros, but in the cold winter months it can suddenly be 1000 euros.”
“Ultimately, the settlement is based on the actual hourly prices,” adds Mulder. It is therefore possible that you have to pay extra afterwards. “Having some extra cash on hand can be a good idea.”
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