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The price of gas drives households and businesses to use propane gas tanks

NOS / Bart Kamphuis

News from the NOSyesterday, 18:00

It cost him 100,000 euros, but entrepreneur Jan Busser earned two large cylinders of propane gas on the site of his recycling company, an energy-intensive company in Son. “I can finally sleep again,” he says. The fact that there is a price tag attached to this does it relatively little. “That’s a lot less than my previous gas bill.”

For Busser and his more than 300 employees, the past few months have been dominated by skyrocketing energy costs. “I was with my back against the wall,” he says. “Paying 3.5 million euros a year for the gas bill to keep my heating system running meant that I would have to shut it down within a few weeks.”


For a long time propane gas was known in the Netherlands for two things: the cylinders of the camping shop and of houses and businesses with a large forecourt that could not be connected to the natural gas network, and therefore installed a gas cylinder. This is also one of the conditions: you must be able to maintain a sufficient distance and therefore have a lot of land.

Before the gas price went up, we didn’t get any inquiries from people who wanted to switch. Now there are dozens of them a week.

Johan Haarbosch of Benegas

In the past few months, many more people have switched to propane gas, reports the Liquefied Gas Association (VVG) and propane gas suppliers. These are just people with a normal connection. The reason: propane gas is currently several times cheaper than natural gas. While it was more expensive.

‘Good times for us’

“Before the gas price went up, we didn’t get any inquiries from people who wanted to switch from natural gas to propane. Now there are dozens of them a week,” says supplier Johan Haarbosch of Benegas.

The VVG trade association recognizes this. “The war in Ukraine has greatly accelerated interest in propane gas. Yes, these are definitely good times for us.”

According to Haarbosch, propane gas is now about half of natural gas for small consumers and for large consumers the price is about one third of that of natural gas.

Also for individuals

Andy Kloppenburg from Emst has already ordered a gas storage tank. From next month his house will be heated with propane and no longer with methane. Its consumption is skyrocketing, he says. “I live in a single-family house and now the bill is 1000 euros a month, while we don’t do anything special.”

He says he went looking for a solution and invented propane gas. “You don’t need a permit under 13,000 liters and I have a lot of space, so that’s not a problem for me.”

There are a few rules for installing a propane tank. For example, he must be at least five meters from the boundary of his property and cannot park next to a house. Propane is therefore not an option in densely populated areas. “But I can do it,” says Kloppenburg.

The development households and businesses are shifting to propane comes as a surprise to René Peters, an energy expert at the TNO research organization. “There is a bit of panic in football. In a while natural gas could be cheaper again. Gas market prices are not expected to stay that way.”

Andy Kloppenburg doesn’t care if gas prices go down again: “If the relationship between the price of natural gas and propane changes again, I’ll go back to natural gas. I’ll turn off the gas tap, but I’ll just keep the connection.”

Even before the high prices, Jan Busser from the Jansen recycling company was looking for an alternative to natural gas. “Propane gas is now an interim solution for us. Ultimately, we want to produce biogas from waste. But this is a multi-year project, with high investment and an environmental permit. In the long term we want to be self-sufficient.”

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