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Housing

Gas and Electricity

Electrical power in the Netherlands runs on a 50-cycle frequency and a voltage of 220V. North American electrical appliances and machines will not work in the Netherlands unless they are used with a transformer. The frequency is often a problem and cannot be converted. Think carefully before bringing your refrigerator, washing machine, clothes dryer or other large appliances as they often create more problems than they are worth. For instance, the standard space in a Dutch kitchen is usually 60 centimeters wide, and there are no local parts or services for non-European appliances. European washing machines heat water internally. You won’t find a hot water outlet in the laundry area. If a dryer is used, there is usually no dryer vent; instead, a water tray must be emptied after each dryer load.

Non-European 110V light bulbs can be replaced with European 220V light bulbs; they have the same size base and thread, so bringing your light bulbs is not encouraged. Non-European lamp plugs can be converted by replacing the power plug to a Dutch one.

Central heating, water heaters and cooking stoves in Dutch homes almost always use natural gas. A comparison of energy suppliers and their offers for energy can be found at the following websites:

These comparison sites do not, however, include a local, sustainable initiative called NLD Energie which is supported by the three Provinces in the Northern Netherlands. Their website is only in Dutch at the moment, but please contact the IWCN if interested in learning more.

Cost of utilities also varies per company, personal usage, and number of people. Again, in general, one can expect to pay the following monthly rates, based on the Dutch normal usage for 1 person:

  • Energy: ~75-150 euros per month