Campus residents paid a gas rate of €0.17958 per cubic metre of gas, excluding VAT, until 1 October. The price increases to €1,9875 for October, €2,0420 for November and €1,9170 cubic metres of gas for December. In practice, however, this does not mean that students will have to pay ten times more for gas. Rates in subsequent months are still unknown.
Gas prices have been rising for months due to energy shortages and the war in Ukraine. Therefore, the huge price increase does not come as a total surprise. 'But that doesn't make it any less unpleasant for students. It puts them in a tough spot,' says Richard Ditzel of De Veste.
The housing corporation paid attention to rising gas prices earlier this year and already advised students to increase their monthly deposit. 'Changes in behaviour can help save energy, but students cannot do much more. Citizens connected to collective facilities such as block and district heating - mostly students - seem to fall between the cracks every time,' Ditzel said. 'Sometimes it seems like a forgotten group.'
For this reason, MP Pieter Omtzigt recently tabled a motion. That motion asked the cabinet to further develop the price cap proposal, for situations where there are multiple households per connection. The motion passed almost unanimously. 'In addition, the LSVb (the Dutch student union, ed.) is in talks with the Ministry of Economic Affairs not to forget the situation of students. It is important to continue to pay attention to that,' Ditzel believes.
To help and inform campus residents, there will be another meeting on Thursday 27 October to discuss what students can do about consumption. 'And if you, as a resident, run into big problems, or are worried about finances, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to think along with you.'
De Veste's meeting is on 27 October from 4pm to 6pm and will take place at Boerderij Bosch.