Frequently Asked Questions

You can find here a list of the most frequently asked questions about energy.

To switch from one supplier to another

The law to abolish termination penalties came into force on 13 September 2012. Since then, individual consumers have been able to change supplier at any time without paying a termination penalty! However, you must observe the notice period that is stated in your contract. This is usually one month.

Before changing supplier, you must be up to date with your payments to your current supplier. If not, the new supplier could refuse to supply you. For example, if you are threatened with disconnection, if a card/budget meter is being installed, or if you are a professional and you have a GRAYDON rating, your new contract may not be validated by the new supplier. In addition, if you have a payment/debt repayment plan with your current supplier, you can change supplier while continuing to make payments to your plan. Similarly, you must pay your adjustment bill, including what you have consumed with your current supplier up to the actual time of the change. Concerning the administrative aspect of the change, you have no obligations towards your current supplier. We will send your records to the new supplier, who will take care of all the necessary steps, (making contact, transferring the records, etc.). 

You can change supplier at any time, provided you observe the notice period that is stated in your contract (often one month). To do this, contact your new supplier and they will take care of providing your energy once the notice period has expired.

Yes, you are free to choose different suppliers for each of these energy types.

If you change supplier, your gas and/or electricity will not be disconnected. Your distribution system operator (DSO) will ensure that your supply is continued by your previous supplier until your new supplier starts to supply you with gas and/or electricity. So you are guaranteed to receive a continuous supply, whatever happens.

Your meter is the property of the DSO (distribution system operator), not your supplier (the company that supplies the electricity and/or gas). These are two different organisations, so you can change supplier without having to worry about your meter. 

Your meter (and EAN code) change only when you move house. The code is specific to the dwelling, so it does not follow you if you move house. 

Contrary to what many people think, changing your gas and electricity supplier is very quick and easy! It will only take you 5 minutes. If you have any concerns, Energyprice.be is there to help you before, during and after you take out your contract with a new supplier. The main steps are as follows:

  • Enter your consumption data: to run a simulation, simply enter your post code, your electricity and/or gas consumption and the number of people in your household. If you know your current supplier and the type of contract you have with that supplier, please specify these details. Energyprice.be will then be able to give you a potential estimate of your future savings (visit the comparison site).
  • Compare and select: using your consumption data, Energyprice.be will first present you with the five most competitive pricing options based on your profile. You can also see details of all the pricing options available on the Belgian market. If you wish, you can also make selections based on how green the electricity is (100% green or not), the type of contract (fixed or variable) and the duration of the contract (12 months or more). Next, simply click on the orange “Register” button.
  • Fill in the supplier’s registration form: to complete your registration, you need your most recent partial bill or annual breakdown (adjustment). On this document, you will find two pieces of information that you will need to enter: your EAN code and the end date of your current contract.
  • Once this form has been duly completed and validated (less than five minutes), the supplier will send you an email or letter confirming that your contract has been set up.
  • Finalising the change of supplier: two weeks before the planned start date of your new contract, you will receive a meter reading request from your distribution system operator. This document asks you to provide your current meter readings (online, by telephone or by return post). Using this information, your previous supplier will then produce their final closing bill. Your new supplier will use these readings as the opening readings for their future billing.

You must contact your distribution system operator (DSO), who is responsible for the quality of the network and your connection to the network. They also own your meter, and if that is faulty they will arrange for the appropriate technical work to be done and will ensure that your supply is not interrupted. The distribution system operator for your property depends on which municipality you live in. If you don’t know who your DSO is, use our tool to find it easily “Find my DSO”.

If the sale has been concluded online, by telephone or away from the vendor’s place of business (door-to-door or at an exhibition, for example), you can change your mind. In such cases, you have a cooling-off period of 14 calendar days. Some suppliers also state in their terms and conditions that a registered letter is compulsory for cancelling an order. This is not the case. You can cancel your contract by telephone or by email. If you would like further information on the easiest way to terminate an energy contract, please click here.

Electricity and gas market in Belgium

There are three main types of actor in the energy market in Belgium:

  • Transmission system operators (TSO): they are responsible for transporting electricity and/or gas from the producer to the distribution system operators and directly to the major industrial consumers. The electricity TSO is called Elia, and the gas TSO is called Fluxys.
  • Distribution system operators (DSO): they are responsible for transporting electricity (under low or medium voltage) and gas (under low or medium pressure) to individuals and businesses. The Walloon DSOs include Ores, which covers eight inter-municipal structures across the Walloon region, and Resa. Click here to find the DSO responsible for your municipality.
  • Suppliers: they are responsible for supplying electricity and/or gas to the consumer, whether they buy it from producers or produce it themselves. They also provide commercial services to customers (the services offered may vary from supplier to supplier) and they are responsible for billing your consumption. Click here to find a list of energy suppliers operating in Belgium.

In addition, there are a series of official bodies who ensure that the actors comply with the standards and regulations.

  • At federal level: the Commission de Régulation de l'Electricité et du Gaz [Electricity and Gas Regulation Commission] (CREG): www.creg.be
  • In Flanders: the Vlaamse Reguleringsinstantie voor de Elektriciteits- en Gasmarkt (VREG): www.vreg.be
  • In Brussels: Bruxelles gaz électricité [Brussels Gas Electricity] (Brugel): www.brugel.be
  • In Wallonia: the Commission Wallonne Pour l'Energie [Walloon Energy Commission] (CWaPE): www.cwape.be

The liberalisation of the energy market involves opening up the gas and electricity supply business to free competition.It gives every household the opportunity to choose whichever supplier they want, which was not possible previously. If a household does not take the initiative in signing a contract with a particular supplier, they are automatically supplied by a “designated supplier”. In Flanders, this is usually Luminus or Engie-Electrabel, and in Wallonia it is Engie-Electrabel, Luminus or Essent.be.

In Belgium, the liberalisation of the energy market took place in two stages. It was the Flemish Region that benefited from it first of all, on 1 July 2003. Then, on 1 January 2007, the electricity and gas market in Wallonia and in the Brussels Region was also liberalised This means that any company with a supply licence is now allowed to supply gas and electricity in Belgium.

A designated supplier is the supplier that is allocated to you automatically by the distribution system operator (DSO) in order to avoid any interruption in your gas and/or electricity supply. Since the liberalisation of the energy market, you are free to choose whichever supplier you want; you are not restricted to the designated supplier. However, if you do not take the initiative in signing a contract with a particular supplier, you will be supplied by a “designated supplier”. In Flanders, this is usually Luminus or Engie-Electrabel, and in Wallonia it is Engie-Electrabel, or often Luminus as well.

No, there is no obligation to choose a supplier, since you will always be supplied by the supplier designated by your distribution system operator (DSO). However, your designated supplier will give you uncompetitive rates, so we recommend that you choose a supplier yourself via comparateur-energie.be. If you already have a designated supplier, remember that at any time you can choose a supplier other than the one designated by your DSO and sign a contract with them. However, bear in mind that you must observe a one-month notice period starting from the month following the date on which you sign the contract with your chosen new supplier. 

See also >> How can I change supplier easily?

The electricity price is composed of three elements:

  • The energy price: this is determined freely by the supplier so may vary from one supplier to another. For this reason, this element of the price can be negotiated according to the consumer’s needs and profile.
  • The energy transport and distribution prices: this forms the remuneration element for the transmission system operator (TSO) and the distribution system operator (DSO). Unlike energy prices, transport prices are non-negotiable and have to be approved by the regional regulators. However, they may vary from one region to another, particularly according to population density, as it will always be cheaper to supply electricity in a city than to a few rural households.
  • The energy taxes and fees: this last element is calculated on a regional or federal basis and is clearly non-negotiable.

The gas price is composed of three elements:

  • The energy price: this is determined freely by the supplier so may vary from one supplier to another. For this reason, this element of the price can be negotiated according to the consumer’s needs and profile.
  • The energy transport and distribution prices: this forms the remuneration element for the transmission system operator (TSO) and the distribution system operator (DSO). Unlike energy prices, transport prices are non-negotiable and have to be approved by the regional regulators. However, they may vary from one region to another, particularly according to population density, as it will always be cheaper to supply gas in a city than to a few rural households.
  • The energy taxes and subsidies: this last element is calculated on a regional or federal basis and is clearly non-negotiable.

Green electricity is electricity produced from renewable energy sources (RES), such as sun, wind, water and biomass. Unlike fossil (oil, gas, etc.) or fission (nuclear) energy sources, RES are inexhaustible and do not produce waste during electricity production.However, choosing a supplier that offers you a “100% green electricity” price plan does not mean that the supplier itself is 100% green. The supplier is able to offer you 100% green energy as a result of purchasing “green certificates”. In addition, the supplier is not obliged to invest in exclusively green energy production. 

 

In all cases, it is the operator (DSO) who is responsible for maintaining and reading your meter. At the appropriate time, they will send you a document informing you that one of their employees will visit you to read your meter, and/or inviting you to send your reading yourself, if you prefer. The operator will then send this information about your consumption to your supplier. Your supplier can then produce your bill. You will not be billed for this reading as it is already included in your bill.

Green and “grey”, or non-renewable, energy suppliers both use the same network. So you won’t have to change your electrical installation in any way when you switch to green energy.

If you have not sent the meter reading requested by your operator (DSO), your bill will be produced based on a higher or lower “estimated” consumption. Consequently, the adjustment bill you receive will probably be wrong. Please note that you can still do an actual meter reading at a later date and send it to your operator. You will then receive a corrective bill.

What do I have to do if I move from one to another place?

If you were living with your parents or if your gas and/or electricity consumption was included in your previous rent, you will never have signed a contract with a supplier in your own name. For that reason, you will have to choose a supplier and sign a contract for your new address.

See also >> Do I have to choose a supplier?

No, if you already have a supplier, you won’t have to renew your contract if you move house. Simply contact your supplier and tell them that you are moving, stating your new address and your moving date. It is, however, a good opportunity to consider changing supplier and use energyprice.be to take advantage of a more attractive offer. 

No, you can continue your own contract which you signed when you were living at your previous address. You also have the option of choosing a new supplier with a more attractive offer. Contact our advisers on 0800 37 456 to find the contract that’s most advantageous for you, or compare the available offers yourself. 

Good to know

No, the distribution system is the same, so the energy provided is also the same. Please note that Belgium is gradually replacing its gas supply. The distribution system will therefore be tailored to each municipality. By 2030, all Belgian consumers will be supplied with rich gas. 

If you have a problem with your electricity and/or gas meter, you must contact your distribution system operator (DSO), who is responsible for the quality of the network and your connection to the network. They also own your meter, and if that is faulty they will arrange for the appropriate technical work to be done and will ensure that your supply is not interrupted. If you don’t know who your DSO is, use our tool to find it easily “Find my DSO”.

The EAN (European Article Numbering) code is an 18-digit numerical code containing a set of information relating to an electricity supply point or a natural gas supply point. So you have an EAN code for your electricity meter and an EAN code for your gas meter. You can usually find it on your energy bill. If you can’t find it on your bill, you can also contact your distribution system operator (DSO).

We have detailed below the important information usually found on an energy bill:

  1. The client reference number;
  2. The period covered by the bill;
  3. The EAN code;
  4. The meter number;
  5. The network operator.

Consumers who are entitled to the social tariff are called “protected clients”, in other words they will always be entitled to the best price on the market. So, for this type of consumer, there is no benefit in changing or comparing the prices of other suppliers. For further information, visit the CREG website.

The terms kWh and m3 both describe your gas consumption. On your meter, it is indicated in m3. On your bill, it is often converted into kWh. The coefficient for converting m3 into kWh depends on several factors, such as altitude, the type of natural gas and its composition. Remember that, in Belgium, 1m3 of natural gas is equivalent to around 10 kWh.

Watts describes the power of an electrical appliance. Kilowatt hours indicates the quantity of energy consumed by an electrical appliance during an hour of operation.

If you have solar panels, we recommend that you wait until your annual meter reading to change supplier. If the date you change supplier is the same as your meter reading date, you won’t risk “losing” your energy production.

The promotions available through Energyprice.be are generally valid for a year. For certain suppliers, the promotions sometimes last for up to three years. 

About EnergyPrice.be

Energyprice.be is a team of energy experts who assist the consumer. As we are independent, we can offer a free,personalised, no-obligation service.

Energyprice.be is also an online platform certified by the CREG (La Commission de Régulation de l'Electricité et du Gaz). This lets consumers compare energy suppliers so that they can reduce their gas and electricity bills, cut down on their paperwork and choose 100% green energy.

Each month, the prices and promotions of all the suppliers in Belgium are updated on the Energyprice.be website. An initial update is done on the first working day of every month based on the pricing options that are publicly available on that date. Prices are then added as the suppliers publish them.

Energyprice.be compares the products of all the suppliers operating in the electricity and gas market in Belgium, taking account of the information provided by the user in the comparison form. The potential savings for the following year are then calculated. 

The offers available through our price comparison service are either the same as or lower than those offered by the suppliers. If you’re considering taking out a new contract that seems more favourable, you can send us the details of the tariff by email.Our energy advisers will analyse the proposed terms for you in order to ensure that the contract is more advantageous for you. 

Energyprice.be is a private, independent organisation, which means that it works in conjunction with the energy suppliers, not for them.

As a consumer using the services of Energyprice.be, you won’t pay a penny. So use of our comparison service is totally free.

In terms of remuneration, we receive a fixed administrative sum from the suppliers when a customer switches to them as a result of using our services. This guarantees that, in an objective way, the cheapest supplier is chosen. And, as a consumer, you don’t pay anything to Energyprice.be.

No, you do not sign any contract with Energyprice.be. You are contractually and solely bound to the supplier with whom you have signed a contract.