More Dutch providers offering hourly energy rates so consumers can aim for lowest prices

Purchasing electricity per hour to get the lowest rate is becoming increasingly popular in the Netherlands. Essent-subsidiary Vandebron just became the first large energy provider to offer this type of dynamic energy contract, offering green electricity at rates that vary per hour, De Telegraaf reports.

With dynamic energy contracts, consumers benefit from the rapidly-increasing amount of green electricity from wind farms and solar panels. This energy is cheaper than energy from fossil fuel plants, but the supply fluctuates based on the weather.

On a dynamic contract, green energy costs more when there is no wind or in the evenings when the sun isn’t shining, and less when the sun is shining brightly, or wind turbines are turning at full speed. Providers offering dynamic contracts charge customers a fixed monthly rate of a few euros and whatever energy costs on the hour they use it. Consumers can see the hourly prices on their provider’s app, usually announced a day in advance.

About 5 percent of households in the Netherlands currently have dynamic contracts, the trade association told the Telegraaf. That amounts to around 400,000 households. It’s mainly smaller energy providers that offer these contracts, but Eneco, Vattenfall, and Essent are also looking into them.

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