Comparator Moving house 4 May 2023 • 8 minutes
“We’re not suckers!” - It’s a fact of life that people don’t like paying too much, especially for their energy bills. That’s why you probably looked for the cheapest energy supplier when you took out your gas or electricity contract. But how long ago was that? Does your supplier still offer you the most favourable rate? How can you be sure? Energyprice.be reveals its secret for always getting the cheapest rates, year after year.
But first, let’s set the context since, it’s fair to say, the Belgian energy market is far from straightforward.
Before 2007, consumers didn’t have a choice: they had to make do with the Electrabel (now ENGIE) rate, and that was that. The historical supplier had a total monopoly. However, what made 2007 a significant turning point for consumers was the fact that the market structure changed that year. Belgium decided to liberalize the supply of gas and electricity, which meant that new businesses were able to compete with ENGIE. As a result, Belgium now has around twenty suppliers ready to meet all your gas and electricity needs.
Whatever your preferences in terms of pricing (fixed price or variable price, single-rate or dual-rate), billing (bank transfer or direct debit), contract duration (1 to 5 years, or indefinite for the undecided), or energy type (green electricity), the suppliers all offer a variety of products to choose from.
In short, as you may have noticed, it is not always in your interest to find the “cheapest energy supplier and product on the market”. It may be that its pricing or customer service conditions do not suit you. Instead, it’s better to carry out an audit of your needs and wishes first, and then compare the rates of the deals that specifically match your circumstances.
Some consumers may therefore wonder whether, overall, there is one low-cost supplier that is consistently cheaper than the rest. After all, in telecommunications, we know that brands such as Scarlet and Mobile Vikings have made this their key selling point. But the energy industry is structured differently. Unlike the telecoms operators, what the energy supplier actually receives usually represents only 2/3 to 4/5 of what you pay. Before the VAT on electricity and gas was reduced to 6 % (first temporarily during the 2022 energy crisis, then it became permanent), energy in itself rather accounted for around 20% of the total bill. The rest of your gas or electricity bill is made up of network costs and various taxes.
>> Further reading: How is your bill made up?
So, unless they cut their profit excessively, the energy suppliers do not usually have an incentive (or the means) to position themselves as low-cost. However, that does not stop them from competing on the basis of favourable prices. After all, the amount your supplier receives does not affect you as the end consumer: what matters most to you is getting the best services at the best rates for your home.
To address this simple need, many energy suppliers use the temporary promotion method. The aim is to offer you exceptionally low rates per kilowatt-hour (kWh) or cover the cost of your fee to encourage you to become one of their clients.
There is nothing new in this business model; all companies tend to treat their customers with promotions every now and then. But, in the energy industry, you need to be a bit more careful, as this reduction is more complicated than simply buying a discounted item in a shop.
We wish to draw your attention to the fact that these price reductions are temporary. In the majority of cases, they only last for a year. This means that, after that period, your rates per kWh will return to their usual level, which means they will increase drastically.
But time flies and people forget about this minor detail. Many consumers do not always realize that their prices will increase after a year. They allow their supplier to renew their energy contract without paying much attention. So, if you took the trouble to choose the most favourable promotion, you will find yourself with a contract in line with the market average at best, or much more expensive at worst. You’ll have to start again from scratch!
To avoid automatic contract renewal at the end of the promotion, there is only one solution: compare your rates every year and, preferably, a little more than one month before your special rate ends. By doing so, you will be able to move from one promotion to another and so obtain the best price per kWh for your energy needs! This is the best trick for saving as much as possible on your energy bills year after year.
What do you need to do?
>> Further reading: Energy price comparisons: when should you do one?
If you don’t want to note in your diary the exact date when your gas or electricity contract started and then work out the best time to do another comparison, don’t worry. Energyprice.be can remind you at the right time! You can enjoy peace of mind while we monitor when your energy rates are going to increase. Our experts become, as it were, your energy advisers and your smart calendar.
To benefit from this entirely free service, you simply need to change your contract via our platform. This is what you need to do:
It’s so quick and easy! We should also mention that, thanks to the CREG certification we have received, you can be sure that the information we provide will be relevant, comprehensive and up-to-date. You, meanwhile, can simply enjoy all the benefits!
Would you prefer to be supported by an energy expert when choosing your contract? If so, please contact one of our advisers free of charge on 0800 37 456 so that they can help you identify the best deal for your home.
Let’s assume that you live in Namur and you want to find a new rate for your dual-rate electricity contract. Here are the top 5 cheapest contracts in May 2023:
|Class.||Supplier and contract offered||Total annual bill (incl. VAT)|
Group Green Flex
|€ 1,214.52 (with promotion!)|
|€ 1,254.56 (with promotion!)|
|€ 1,302.20 (with promotion!)|
Online Green Flex
The estimated annual bills in the table above have been calculated based on the estimated annual prices, in accordance with the methodology of the VREG.
>> Do the test with your post code and your own preferences!
The secret’s out! Finding the best rates has never been so easy. Thanks to Energyprice.be, you can easily access the latest energy supplier deals from anywhere in Belgium.
As a little extra, our customer service department will look after your account and make sure that you always receive the best rates. We will remind you to check your rates again when the time comes, and you can happily enjoy the most favourable rates for your home year after year!
Find which is the most suitable and cheapest energy supplier now on Energyprice.be and receive long-term assistance from our team of experts!