Marché de l'énergie 14 June 2022 • 5 minutes
The supplier Aeco has announced that it is ceasing operations permanently to avoid bankruptcy as a result of the increase in energy prices. It has therefore signed its supply licence termination and is asking all its customers to find a new energy supplier as soon as possible. We explain what your rights are as a customer and how you can quickly find a supplier that meets your consumption needs.
This comes as no surprise as energy prices have been rising since January 2021, both for energy suppliers who buy their energy on the wholesale markets and for end customers. To avoid bankruptcy, Aeco (formerly Energie 2030) recently announced the permanent cessation of its operations from 1 March 2022.
In Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital Region, it is the distribution system operators (DSO) who have withdrawn Aeco’s supply licence. In Flanders, the DSO Fluvius has withdrawn the licence for gas. As a result, Fluvius becomes the substitute supplier for around 200 customers. Since its gas prices are more expensive than the market rates, these customers are invited to look for another supplier. However, there is no procedure in place for withdrawing the licence for electricity. As long as Aeco’s licence for supplying electricity is valid, the supplier must deliver on its commitments, according to the energy regulator in Flanders (VREG). The regulator is nevertheless aware of Aeco’s difficult situation.
Unfortunately, Aeco is not the only victim of the historic rise in energy prices as it is the fourth supplier to have ceased trading: Energy2Business and Vlaamse Energieleverancier went bankrupt, while Watz filed for protection from creditors in December 2021.
If you are a customer of Aeco in Wallonia or in Brussels, you will be required to find a new energy supplier and ask them to start your contract on 1 March 2022. If you have not found a supplier by 25 March 2022, a substitute supplier will be allocated to you.
Please note, however, that if you have an MMR (monthly meter reading) meter or an AMR (automatic meter reading) meter, it will not be possible for you to be allocated a substitute supplier. So, to avoid an interruption to your energy supply, you must find a new supplier before 25 March 2022.
In Flanders, Fluvius becomes your temporary substitute supplier if you have not found another supplier by 18 March 2022. However, Fluvius’ rates for gas are expensive and serve as an incentive for you to look for another supplier. If you have not signed a contract with a supplier within 1 year, you risk having your gas cut off.
Your substitute supplier depends on which Region you live in:
Once you have found a new supplier or you have been allocated a substitute supplier, you will receive an adjustment (or closing) bill from Aeco. For this to happen, your GRD will take a meter reading or an estimated meter reading and send it to Aeco.
Then, if your reading shows that your monthly instalments were too high compared with your actual consumption, Aeco will refund you the amount due. If your instalments were not high enough, you will be charged the missing amount.
Even though energy prices have been extremely high for months, it is still possible to find an energy supplier that matches your consumption profile. So, if you are required to find a new contract, your initial response should be to compare your contract with the current market. CREG Scan is an excellent tool for doing this.
If you want to find a contract that suits your consumption, the composition of your household, and your type of home, please visit our online comparison tool. It was the first online comparison site to be certified by federal energy regulator CREG, and it allows you to find a contract that meets your needs in just a few clicks. If you don’t like computers, you can contact our advisers free of charge on 0800 37 456, on Mondays to Fridays from 9.00am to 6.00pm.
In addition, you won’t have to deal with any of the administrative aspects as we will take care of cancelling your contract (if you change supplier in the normal way) and taking out a new price plan with your new supplier.