Lights out earlier and heating down in Belgian government buildings | NOW

Lights out earlier and heating down in Belgian government buildings | NOW
Lights out earlier and heating down in Belgian government buildings | NOW

Belgium is launching a series of measures to tackle the sharp rise in energy prices. For example, the country wants to significantly reduce energy consumption in public buildings. In addition, the country wants to tax the surplus profits of energy companies such as Engie and TotalEnergies.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo reported, among other things, that the heating in public buildings will be reduced to 19 degrees Celsius. Also, the use of air conditioning will be reduced. The lighting of offices and monuments is switched off between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.

“If every citizen saves energy when possible, his wallet will benefit, but prices will also go down,” De Croo told a press conference.

The government also wants to meet with shops and other companies to discuss how they can reduce energy consumption. Discussions are underway with banks about a scheme for customers who have difficulty paying their mortgage.

Belgians can also take advantage of the reduced VAT rate of 6 percent for gas and electricity for longer. The scheme for the poor, for whom a special energy tariff applies, will also be extended. The lower excise duty on fuel will also remain for the time being.

Furthermore, a proposal is due to be submitted next month to tax the excess profits of energy companies. Belgium already earns about 800 million euros from a tax on nuclear energy. This scheme should also apply to other companies in the energy sector.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine at the end of February forced Belgium to reconsider its plans to focus more on natural gas. The plan to completely stop using nuclear energy by 2025 is also off the table for the time being.

The article is in Dutch

Belgium

Tags: Lights earlier heating Belgian government buildings

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