Energy: tips 17 March 2021 • 4 Reactions • 8 minutes
In Belgium, it is necessary to subscribe to an energy contract in order to be supplied with electricity and gas. But in some cases, you will also have to cancel it. How do you do so? Find out all the necessary steps in this article.
Whether your current provider is Engie (Electrabel), Mega or another actor in the market does not matter. In all cases, you are free to cancel your power contract at any time. And since good news never comes alone, this can be done without having to pay a penalty.
You want to take that step but are not quite sure how to do so? It’s easy: there’s a procedure for every situation!
In the case of a move, settling your electricity and/or natural gas contracts can be a nightmare. However, it can rapidly become a formality if you take precautions.
The first? Inform your power supplier of your intentions some days before moving out. And above all, mention the specific desired cancellation date in order to avoid any immediate cut in power.
Then, you will need to inform your supply company, preferably using the energy transfer document, of your electricity and/or gas meter reading on the day of your departure. This last procedure is just as important as the previous ones because it allows distinguishing your energy consumption from that of the future occupant of the premises.
Once the supplier has received your reading, it will issue a settlement invoice on the basis of kilowatt-hours (kWh) consumed between the last regularization invoice and the date of the move. This will act as proof that the contract has actually been terminated.
For your information, the gas or electricity provider very often offers to transfer the contract to the customer’s new address when informing of their desire to terminate it. However, moving house is an opportunity to compare power deals to make savings. It might then seem that switching suppliers is the best alternative from a financial point of view. In this case, it is a good idea to subscribe to a new contract for your future home around two weeks prior to the move. This amount of time will allow your distribution system operator to act if there is a need to open your power meter.
Since the liberalization of the energy sector, consumers are free to switch electricity and/or gas supplier. This is an opportunity when you know that some companies offer attractive promotions on the kWh price of electricity or gas or on the annual subscription fee.
Moreover, whatever the duration of your power supply contract, it can be terminated at any time during the year. Another advantage is that it requires little effort on the part of the consumer as they need only choose a provider of gas or electricity and a deal. Indeed, it is the new provider that undertakes to stop the current contract and to start the new one on the desired date taking into account a period of notice of at least one month.
In practice, the new contract will generally begin on the first of the following month. If the request for cancellation is made, for example, on 15 October, then the rates signed on that date will come into effect on 1 December.
Did you know? Becoming a customer of another supplier under no circumstances implies replacing the energy meter. You can even choose a different provider for each type or energy.
The electricity or gas supplier has the right to change the terms and conditions of the contract provided it notifies the customer of the planned changes at least two months before they come into effect. However, the customer is not obliged to accept them and can cancel the contract provided the notice period is respected.
In order to increase their customer portfolio, some providers implement door-to-door sales. When they visit potential customers, the salespeople claim to offer highly competitive rates that are, in practice, not necessarily so. Many a consumer has regretted signing when they realize that the contract in question does not meet their needs or offers higher electricity or gas prices.
To find out whether the contract you have just concluded is the right one for you, you can contact our energy consultants by telephone on 0800 37 456, from 9 am to 12:30 pm and from 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
But, fortunately, to avoid lawsuits, the law allows consumers a fourteen calendar day cooling-off period to change their mind. It is similar to a trial period, it is thus not a de facto termination, in which case the customer should have benefited from the deal for at least a month.
In addition to being able to pull out, the consumer is, in some cases, able to assert a cancellation clause. Enabling considering that the contract has never existed, it comes into play when a condition is invalid or when fraud is ascertained.
As for what steps to take, whether it’s retraction or cancellation, it boils down to sending a certified letter with acknowledgement of receipt or an e-mail to the supplier concerned. To make sure of the method accepted by the company, feel free to consult our staff.
Fixed-term power contracts are usually renewed automatically if neither of the parties wishes to terminate. This means that just like the customer, the provider may decide to stop the contract. This is also a possibility if it is of indeterminate length.
However, the provider must inform its customer of its intentions two months in advance to allow the customer time to find another supplier.
It is possible that a customer wishes to terminate his or her contract as they simply no longer require one in their name. This may occur, for example, if they are moving to a property of someone who already has one of if a house owner goes abroad for a period and does not wish to subscribe to an empty house energy contract. Moreover, a cause of death may also justify the stoppage of a contract.
This type of termination is without doubt the most straightforward since all you need to do is inform the provider of your wish to terminate the contract. Note that it will take at least one month (period of notice).
Below and in PDF format you will find a template of a letter of cancellation specifically for energy contracts. Be sure to adapt it to your own situation and to insert your personal data.
[Your family and given names]
[Street and number]
[Postal code and town/city]
[Your customer number]
[The name of your supplier]
[Postal code and town/city]
Subject: cancellation of my energy supply contract
I hereby inform of my cancellation of my [electricity/natural gas] contract as of [desired date of cancellation]. This date takes into account the period of notice set out in the general terms and conditions applicable to this contract. Therefore, no compensation for cancellation may be claimed.
Please can you also send me in writing confirmation of the date when the cancellation will come into effect as well as a final settlement invoice?
I look forward to receiving your earliest response.
[Family and given names]
In Belgium, it is possible to cancel your power contract at any time. Regardless of your provider, the reason for it, or the type of contract (specific or indeterminate duration, fixed or variable energy tariff). In addition, this procedure is totally free of charge provided you respect a period of notice of at least 30 days. Let us recall, this is not applicable in the case of moving house.
However, if no cancellation fee can be claimed, you may need to pay the subscription fee, even if your contract ends after a few months. Some providers charge the annual subscription at the start of the year and not in proportion to the months of delivery. Clearly, this means of calculation, resembling compensation for cancellation in disguise, penalizes the customer. That’s why we invite you to contact us by phone on 0800 37 456 to find out which suppliers do so.
Did you know? In the event of a dispute with your supplier about the cancellation of your power contract, you can turn to the Energy Mediation Service. However, this service will only admit your complaint if you can prove that you have already tried to solve the dispute amicably. This may, for example, arise from an attempt by the provider to charge cancellation fees or its refusal, in cases of premature departure, to grant a discount promised when entering into the contract.