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The Netherlands

Queen Máxima to see efforts to help families with soaring energy bills


Queen Máxima of the Netherlands is set to undertake a very important engagement in the context of her work in finance and financial independence. 

On Thursday, the Dutch Queen will visit the customer service centre at the Temporary Energy Emergency Fund, in The Hague, to speak with staff members to hear about the type of call they receive for their service and to listen to the solutions they propose. 

She will conclude her visit with a discussion about the project with representatives from the various financial organisations that created it. 

The Temporary Energy Emergency Fund was launched on 7 February, with the main aim of helping families who are experiencing financial stress due to increasingly high energy prices. 

The pandemic and the war waged by Russia on Ukraine have created an unstable market that has caused energy prices, in particular for electricity and gas, to fluctuate heavily. 

International organisations have intervened to impose price caps on buying costs for the various countries, but within that range there are still prices that make energy costs weigh a lot heavier on households’ budgets. 

Therefore, a partnership between Eneco, Essent, Greenchoice, Vattenfall, the Dutch Schuldhulproute, ShuldenlabNL, Budget Thuis, Clean Energy, ENGIE, Pure Energie and Shell Energy was created to put together this initiative, which has also received a 25 million euros contribution from the Dutch government. 

Families who wish to receive their contribution will have to apply online (the customer service centre was created to offer help to those who encounter difficulties in doing so), and their request will be analysed taking into consideration the household’s joint financial situation. If their bills exceed a certain percentage of the monthly income, the organisation will emit funds to pay part of the bill. 

This whole initiative will focus on energy bills that span from October 2022 to March 2023 and was created to prevent families from going into further debt, which, ultimately, would negatively impact the whole country’s economy. 

Queen Máxima has been engaged in the area of finance and microcredit ever since she became a royal, and she is Honorary Chair of ShuldenlabNL, a link between public and private sector that aims to make the Netherlands debt free through investment and financing.