In Belgium, any person who owns an electricity or gas meter is required to sign a contract with a supplier. Even if their house is empty!
This is so regardless of whether a dwelling consumes electricity and/or gas or not. Indeed, the owner of an empty or an unoccupied building, or which requires development work must also subscribe to a deal.
In this guide, we focus precisely on this second scenario. So, we are looking at contracts titled ‘Empty house contract’. To get a better idea of what we mean, let us analyse the different situations in which they are applicable and also set out the different stages and steps to be taken to benefit from them. And you will see that in some cases, ‘Empty house contracts’ can make you money!
In several cases, the owner of a building concludes a contract with an energy supplier for an electric meter and/or a gas meter that will either not be used or will be used very little. We can distinguish between three situations:
In order to keep buildings’ meters open, all owners are obliged to have a supplier for these meters, even if they are not used. Indeed, without a contract, the active distribution system operator (DSO) in your area will, after a while, begin the process of “closing the meter”.
This closure procedure is paid for (several hundred euros in some cases). The same applies to the reopening procedure that will be needed later to use these meters again. To avoid any inconvenience and unnecessary charges, therefore, every owner in one of the above situations must conclude an energy contract for each meter.
In the light of these situations, the suppliers of electricity and gas in the Belgian market usually offer an adapted rate, called ‘empty house rate’. For some suppliers, a specific rate card is applicable. For others, it is simply an adjustment of the amount of the instalment.
It is important to ensure several key points when choosing your supplier and the deal best suited to this type of use. The priority criteria are:
If you are not familiar with the concepts of annual fee or “prorata temporis” billing, our advisers are of course at your disposal to answer all your questions on 0800 37 456, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our online chat tool.
In contrast to contracts for occupied buildings, the kWh electricity and the m³ (or kWh) gas rates are not essential in the case of a property where there will be little or no consumption. However, low or moderate consumption of gas or electricity is not to be excluded in certain situations:
In the various cases cited above, which is not an exhaustive list, it may be useful to estimate the energy consumption and to ensure a minimum to choose for a competitive kWh according to the energy used.
Let us consider a specific example. In our analysis, there is a difference of 208 euros between the most and the least suitable contracts in this kind of situation. The points of reference used to achieve this result are: 1 kWh for electricity and 1 kWh for gas at postal code 1000.
The choice of contract, even for a meter that will have almost zero consumption, can be crucial.
Making money through meters that record no consumption is possible!
Indeed, if the ‘new customer’ reduction is bigger than the fixed fees charged by the network operator and the supplier’s annual fee, it is possible, at the end of the year, to receive a credit note.
For any contract entered into, you will be requested to make monthly advances or instalments. In this kind of situation, the minimum monthly payments are set a 10 euros per meter. This amount may vary according to the supplier chosen. By choosing the right contract and by consuming very little, it is possible to be reimbursed for your advances at the time of the meter reading (usually after one year).
If you do not know what contracts offer the most beneficial ‘new customer’ discounts, do not hesitate to contact our staff on 0800 37 456, by e-mail at email@example.com or via our online chat tool.
Below, we list the different situations in which an ‘empty house’ contract is necessary or when an adjustment of the amount of the instalment is required. In addition, each situation is set out depending on the status of the meter: open, closed or pre-paid meter.
In this case, you must establish an energy contract in your own name until a new tenant starts to consume energy once more. As mentioned previously, it is important to conclude an energy contract to prevent the meters from being cut off by the network operator.
Here are the steps you must take if:
The pre-paid budget is easily recognizable by its red and blue buttons.
Note that disabling a pre-paid meter due to moving house involves several stages. If you have questions, we are at your disposal on 0800 37 456.
In this case, you must establish an energy contract in your name. Here are the steps you must take if:
If you still have any queries, send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on 0800 37 456.
By reading this article, it appears that the energy transfer document is an essential item to keep a written record of meter readings when a meter is transferred from one person to another. It is also the proof required by some suppliers to establish a new contract.
In addition, it seems timely to choose your electricity and/or gas contract. Even for a meter that will, in principle, not record any or will record very low kWh consumed after one year. With “new customer” promotions and the lowest possible “prorata temporis” fee, it is even sometimes possible get some money back from your supplier! You will thus have concluded an energy contract that will finally bring you in some money! Amazing, isn’t it?Respond!