Electricity and gas: price 9 August 2022 • 4 Reactions • 13 minutes
Talking about electricity consumption automatically means determining an energy budget. This exercise implies that you have to consider your electricity needs, but there is another factor as well: the price. The lower the rate, the less money you will need to spend for the same number of kWh. Logical, you might say. However, there are some subtleties involved that might change the situation. Here is everything you need to know about the price of electricity in Belgium in 2022.
An electricity bill is divided into three parts, namely:
These items make up the total electricity price charged to the consumer.
The energy price is set freely by the supplier, except for the social rate. The price of a kWh of electricity is based mainly on the wholesale market prices. It can therefore vary from one company to another It includes:
This last category of costs is usually indicated on the bill as “Contribution to renewable energy” or “Green energy costs” and, where applicable, “Co-generation costs” (kosten WKK).
If you own photovoltaic panels and live in Wallonia, you will also have to take into account the prosumer rate in your electricity budget. This rate is charged for the use of the distribution network and makes the participation in the network fees uniform, regardless of your consumer profile. You could also still be charged this prosumer rate in Flanders if you still have a uni-directional analog meter.
This component of the bill covers the costs of two energy market stakeholders:
Unlike the energy price, the transmission and distribution prices are non-negotiable and must be approved by the Commission for Electricity and Gas Regulation (CREG – Commission de Régulation de l’Électricité et du Gaz or Commissie voor de Regulering van de Elektriciteit en Gas ). However, they can vary from one region to another, particularly depending on population density, as it will always be cheaper to supply electricity in towns and cities than in rural areas.
This final bill item includes the amounts set by the federal State and the Regions. The supplier collects the sums due, since they handle the billing, but they then forward these amounts in full to the various authorities.
In summary, consumers have limited room for manoeuvre since they can only influence the energy price, in other words, the part left to the supplier’s discretion.
When establishing its price plans, the electricity supplier must consider a technical element: the electricity meter. In Belgium, there are three main types:
Each one is associated with a specific electricity price and allows consumers to make savings as long as they are used in an optimal manner.
This is especially true for the dual meter. With its two dials, it divides the hours of the day in two time periods: peak hours, corresponding to daytime on weekdays, and off-peak hours, corresponding to nights and weekend days. The aim is to encourage consumers to use their energy-intensive devices during off-peak hours in order to make use of the excess electricity produced at night in Belgium. To achieve this, the idea was to offer an attractive rate during this period. In return, the day rate for the dual meter is higher than the single rate for the standard meter.
As for the night-only meter, it is used most by people who have electric storage heaters. The night-only rate is generally equivalent to the off-peak rate of the day/night system.
However, starting in 2023, the Flemish Region will see the introduction of a new billing system, marking the gradual end of the peak hours/off-peak hours system. This so-called capacity tariff varies according not only to how much electricity you use but also when you use it. This new system optimizes electricity flows according to the capacity of the electricity grid and, as a consequence, should prevent it from being overloaded. Still in Flanders, supplier Engie has set up dynamic pricing contracts where the price of electricity is calculated on a hourly basis according to wholesale market rates. This process can lead to significant savings for certain types of consumers (especially those who pay close attention to their consumption).
Standard and dual meters meet different needs. So, before replacing your electricity meter, review your habits and work out your electricity consumption. If it is low, the standard rate will probably suit you best. If you have any doubt as to which type of meter to install, you can call us on 0800 37 456 or email us at email@example.com.
Most energy suppliers offer several kinds of contract. The consumer usually has the choice between, for example, a green electricity deal, a 100% online deal, or a more traditional deal. But one criterion goes beyond these specifics: the type of electricity price.
Fixed or variable, it influences not only the cost per kWh and the annual fee but also the guarantee given to the customer.
A fixed rate ensures the same electricity price per kWh throughout the whole duration of the energy supply contract. In return for this security, suppliers often demand a higher annual fee.
A variable rate is indexed quarterly or monthly. Consumers usually discover whether it has risen or fallen when they get their annual breakdown. The risk is that if the price has increased they will have to pay the difference, which may be substantial.
As a general rule, variable prices tend to be more attractive than fixed prices at the end of the contract as they carry more risk.
To avoid a high energy bill, it is generally recommended that people who prefer security should choose a fixed rate for electricity. For natural gas, a variable rate might be more attractive as the natural gas rate is more stable. However, this does not stop some energy suppliers from offering a more attractive gas price.
It is also worth noting that current events can affect the situation as well. As a matter of fact, because of the price surge as a result of the post-lockdown economic recovery and the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, almost all Belgian suppliers withdrew their fixed rate contracts from the market. This was made in an attempt to prevent consumers from paying much higher instalments than the usual average.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the huge number of electricity deals available on the market. Indeed, across all regions, there are 388 deals for professionals and households!
This means there is a risk of choosing one at random, but nothing could be worse for your wallet. To save money, you must consider your needs before deciding which contract to take out. However, the financial aspect is not the only criterion that will determine which electricity supply deal you should choose. For example, it is just as important to check the supplier’s commercial and environmental policies as they may be incompatible with your deeply held convictions. Let us explain.
If what you want is to pay as little as possible, you should be aware that some price plans will suit you better than others. Some electricity contracts are aimed specifically at families and offer a high annual fee and a low price per kWh.
In contrast, others are intended for people living alone. Because single-person households have low consumption levels, these contracts include an attractive annual fee but a higher electricity rate.
In addition to this specific feature, there are some other important criteria, such as the type of price (fixed or variable) and the conditions and duration of the contract.
Do you need help comparing electricity deals to find the one that best suits your profile? Our staff is available to assist you by phone on 0800 37 456, from 9.00 am to 6 pm, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re finding it hard to distinguish between the different energy suppliers, it could be beneficial to take a look at the services they offer.
As a reminder, you are under no obligation to choose the same supplier for electricity and gas.
To award a company the title of “best electricity supplier” is difficult, as everything depends on each individual’s own criteria. On the other hand, it is possible to find out which one offers the most attractive electricity price.
Below we set out the fixed rate flagship deals of the key electricity providers in Flanders and Wallonia.
|Supplier||Offer Name||Single Rate (c€/kWh)||Dual rate (c€/kWh)||Night-only rate (c€/kWh)||Fixed fee (€/year)|
Want to know which is the cheapest electricity deal on the market? Use our CREG-certified gas and electricity supplier comparison website!
Among all the major players in the energy market, is there one cheap electricity supplier that stands out?
Below are the key variable-rate deals of the two main energy suppliers in Brussels.
|Supplier||Offer Name||Single rate (c€/kWh)||Dual rate (c€/kWh)||Night-only rate (c€/kWh)||Fixed fee (€/year)|
In Belgium, the complete liberalization of the energy market dates back to 2007. Although it was supposed to be beneficial to consumers, it does not seem to have had all the desired effects.
According to the scoreboards produced monthly by the CREG, we notice a significant increase of the price of electricity over a period of only a year. As a result, the average electricity bill in Belgium rose from € 894.75 in April 2021 to € 1,581.85 in April 2022, meaning an increase by € 687.10. Analyzed per Region, the price difference is noteworthy too:
This difference in price can be attributed to the economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the war between Ukraine and Russia which started at the end of February 2022.
Note also that since 1 March 2022 and until 31 December 2022, the VAT on electricity has been reduced to 6 %.
The price of gas is comprised of the same elements as that of electricity. Therefore, a gas bill is made up of the price of the energy itself, the transmission and distribution costs, the taxes and the VAT.
The major difference between these two energy sources stems from the way the bill is issued, because the gas meter displays the energy consumption in m³ rather than kWh. Consequently, once the meter reading has been completed, the supplier converts the cubic meters (the volume) of gas used into kWh (the energy consumed) with the help of a correction factor. This ensures a billing on a fairer basis for the consumers.
Furthermore, contrary to electricity, there is only one type of gas meter. Thus, the rate stays the same, independent of the time of day.
Regarding the evolution of the gas price, it has also been subject to inflation since the liberalization of the energy market in 2007, and especially in 2021 and 2022 given the economic and sanitary context. According to CREG figures, the price of gas in Belgium jumped from € 1,169.84 in April 2021 to € 2,769.23 in April 2022 (with both the VAT on gas being reduced to 6 % and the CREG average gas consumption figures for a household going from 23,600 kWh to 17,000 kWh on 1 April 2022).