19 September 2002 – The Dutch government said Tuesday that it would introduce measures in its 2003 budget to bring in full liberalization of the country’s gas and electricity market

The government pledged to introduce by the middle of 2003 a market monitoring system to help the it assess whether additional policy measures are needed to ensure an adequate supply of electricity and network quality and capacity.

The introduction of competition will be accompanied by an extensive public information campaign which will learn from the lessons of deregulation of the green electricity market and any additional costs of ensuring security of supply would be transparent.

The liberalization plans follow the recommendations of the Energy Liberalisation Task Force which last April said that liberalisation could be advanced by three months compared to the statutory date of Jan 1, 2004.

So far the Dutch government has only liberalised the market for gas customers with more than 1-mil cu m of consumption annually and electricity customers with a connection of at least 3×80 ampere. There are an estimated 6.5m customers for gas and 7.5m customers for electricity who will additionally be free to choose their supplier once the market is fully liberalised.