Yet another student wins court case about energy compensation

Judge rules that excluding students violates the equal rights principle.
De rechtbank van Amsterdam The Amsterdam court also rules that students may not be excluded from receiving energy compensation. Photo Shutterstock

Yet another student has won a case for energy compensation against their municipality, Amsterdam, this time. The municipality may not exclude students without reasonable cause, according to the judge.

Last summer, a student in Nijmegen won a court case against the municipality as well. In this similar case, the court ruled that the municipality has six weeks to reconsider the application submitted by 24-year-old student Melle van der Geest

Amsterdam followed the national guidelines that the ministry gave the municipalities. The judge, however, rules that excluding students constitutes a violation of the equal rights principle.

Very happy

It is uncertain whether the student will ultimately be awarded the compensation. The municipality has six weeks to reconsider their decision. The court declines to take a decision on the matter, as there is insufficient clarity as to whether the student meets all the other criteria for the one-off energy compensation.

In an interview in Het Parool daily newspaper, the student is quoted saying he is ‘very happy’ that the municipality is obligated to process his application. ‘This means I am not excluded simply for being a student, but that my application is weighed against the criteria related to, for example, income.’

More cases

The Council of State advised against excluding students from the energy compensation, while the Public Prosecutor saw reason to defend the cabinet’s position.

Student unions LSVb and FNV Young & United called on students to come forward if they wanted to take legal action. They claim to have received some one thousand reactions. ‘We expect students in other cities will also take the matter to court’,  the unions state in a press release.

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