What is the purpose of gas?
Gas is used for many purposes, such as: warm showers, cooking, and the use of heaters (verwarming). You use gas in your daily activities, especially in the winter where you turn up the heater in each and every room. Which is not recommended at all. Not only financial wise, but also health-wise. More about that further down this article.
Utility Contracts When Renting In The Netherlands
When you are renting accommodation, you either close utility contracts yourself, or your landlord does this on your behalf. When you are renting for a long-term, let's say over 12 months, you are likely to close these contracts yourself. However, if you are renting for a short-term, or a student living in a student accommodation, the landlord or agency will provide the necessary utilities for you, such as gas, water, electricity and the internet.
Utility Usage When Renting In The Netherlands
You always pay an advance payment when it comes to variable utility usage such as gas, water and electricity. When it comes to TV and the internet, you pay a fixed price. A fixed price, is a price that is the same regardless of the amount of usage. An advance payment is when the usage of the service can vary, e.g. you can either use more or less gas, and your yearly invoice (jaarafrekening) will be calculated accordingly to usage. If the advance payments are more than what you have used, you will be refunded. However, have you used more than what you paid in the advance payments, then you'll have to compensate by paying the costs for the over usage.
We all know gas is expensive. We all know, the more you use, the more you pay. You can largely control how much gas you use and, therefore, how much you have to pay. Therefore, we have listed a few tips for the lowest possible gas consumption which will cost you little or no money at all.
- The easiest and efficient tip is to turn your radiator as low as possible. 18 °C or 19 °C is perfectly fine if you wear an extra sweater or use a cozy blanket on the couch while watching Netflix. Don't forget thick warm cozy socks! It feels like walking on clouds 😉!
- Turn the heater lower when you are not at home or asleep. Around 15 °C or 16 °C is an ideal temperature to sleep.
- Any rooms which you do not use regularly? Try turning the radiator low (frost protection), not off. This way you won't heat the room without any purpose. Are you using the bedroom, only for sleeping purposes? Try not to heat that room as well, but use an extra blanket of an electric blanket.
- Close doors, so the heat cannot escape from heated rooms to unheated areas.
- Avoid long hot showers. Try showering warm, but not hot and no longer than necessary.
- Boil water by using a kettle instead of cooking water on the gas stove.
Health Reasons To Turn Down Your Radiator A Bit
Radiator usage is one of the main reasons for high gas consumption. Turning the heater lower is not only good for your finances but also better for your health. However, you need to make sure that the temperature is not lower than 15 °C for a long period, as it increases the risks of condensation (read: moisture), which in turn can cause mould.
Prolonged exposure to temperatures above 25 °C can lead to dehydration, headaches, (unusual) fatigue, dizziness, and heart problems. In extreme situations, it can even lead to complications.
If you are studying, doing homework or watching Netflix, it is better to lower the temperature, so you can concentrate better. Otherwise, you might fall asleep sooner than expected. 😅