Energy: tips 3 May 2022 • 8 minutes
If you’re moving into a new home, you will probably want it to have access to electricity (unless your aim is to build a rural home without modern conveniences, but that’s pretty rare). You will therefore need to connect your new property to the electricity grid. To do this, there are several steps you will need to take. The first preliminary step is to check which distribution network operator (DNO) operates in your municipality. It is this entity that is authorized to connect you to the grid. The next steps are as follows:
First of all, let’s remind ourselves what we mean by electrical connection. It is an essential step when building a house. Without electricity, you will not have any lighting, and your household appliances will not work.
In practice, connecting your home to electricity involves linking it to your DNO’s distribution network and installing a new electricity meter.
Depending on the location of your home, if it is isolated, for instance, an extension of the network may be required. In such cases, the cost of the works is generally your responsibility, unless, according to CWaPE (the Walloon Energy Commission), the extension involves “one or more dwellings built along the public highway in a residential area, a rural dwelling or a home extension, and is outside subdivision or treated as such”.
>> Read also: 4 steps to connect your home to the gas network successfully
A standard connection to the electricity grid may seem complicated at first sight. However, it may be a simple formality provided that you go about it correctly and take it step by step.
The first step involves submitting a request to your network operator for a new connection. You can do this in several ways: by telephone, by post, or online. The ORES connection form (in French), for example, is readily available, as is the form provided by Sibelga (Brussels). Don’t forget that you can visit your DNO’s website to save time.
When you submit your connection request, you will need to provide several pieces of information:
If you’re not sure what level of power to choose for your electricity connection, ask your electrician. They will determine what type of installation and electricity connection you need based on your requirements.
Did you know?
If you live in an apartment, your DNO also needs to know which floor it is on and its exact location. In addition, if your building already has an electricity supply, you will need to request the installation of an additional meter. In that case, you do not need an additional electricity connection. However, you will still be asked to provide the same information.
Have you sent your request for a new electricity connection to your DNO? Great! They will now send you a quotation. If it is acceptable and you agree to their price offer, your next job is to carry out the preparatory works described in the technical files sent by your DNO.
You will then need to have your electrical installation checked by a body approved by the Minister for Energy. At this point, you will need to submit the single-line diagram of the installation, the diagram showing the position of its constituent parts, and the EAN code that identifies your connection. Your DNO will have given you this code in advance.
Does your installation meet the current standards? You will then receive a certificate of compliance from the control body. You should produce it when your DNO visits your property.
Once everything is in order, contact your network operator so that they can make the connection and install your electricity meter. Please note that some DNOs require payment of the quotation before starting the connection process.
Now that the works are complete, you need to sign an electricity contract with a supplier such as ENGIE, Eneco or Mega. Without this document, it will be impossible to consume any energy.
>> See a list of all the energy suppliers in Belgium
First of all, you should think about your choice of energy supplier. Do you want to become a customer of a company that invests in renewable energy, offers good discounts, or is known for the quality of its customer service? If you don’t know the characteristics of each supplier, please call us free of charge on 0800 37 456. Our advisers will be pleased to explain the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Do you simply want to consider the financial aspect and find the cheapest electricity deal? If so, use our electricity price comparison site, the first comparison site certified by the CREG (federal regulator) in Belgium. Based on your electricity consumption, our tool will tell you which is the cheapest pricing plan.
In the case of a new build, however, it is highly likely that you will not know your consumption. In that case, please refer to the average electricity consumption in Belgium.
>> Read also: 5 practical tips for estimating your electricity consumption
Next, once your contract is up and running, read your meter every month over a given period. You will then find out the actual number of kilowatt-hours consumed, and you will be able to adjust the monthly amount you pay to your energy supplier.
Your electricity meter will be turned on by your DNO and this is only possible subject to two conditions: your electrical installation is compliant and you have taken out an energy contract.
Is that the case? If so, simply make an appointment with your network operator. In general, the time frame for commissioning is three working days.
Did you know?
If you already have a supply contract and a certificate of compliance when your DNO visits your property to make the connection, they may be able to commission it there and then.
Connecting your home to the electricity grid involves certain costs that will vary depending on the works required and the connection rates applied by your DNO.
So, if you come under Sibelga, you should allow €1,132 including VAT. This sum includes travel costs for the technician, connection to the grid, and installation of the cable on public and private land. Regarding the installation of a new meter, please allow several hundred euros in addition.
The cost of an electricity connection with ORES is provided only when the quotation is issued, after you have submitted your connection request. So the simplest way to find out how much a connection cost is to contact your network operator.
Here are the telephone numbers for the electricity network operators in Belgium:
Electricity is such an integral part of our lives that we sometimes forget that we don’t have access to it automatically and that we have to connect our home to a complex network. Fortunately, the connection steps in our regions are simple. Your network operator is there to ensure that the process runs smoothly.
If you want to know more about other topics relating to the supply of electricity or natural gas in your home, please subscribe to our newsletter so that you don’t miss any of our practical guides. You will then know everything you need to know about the energy world!