Solar Magazine – Belgium maintains lower VAT on electricity and social rate until March 31, 2023

Solar Magazine – Belgium maintains lower VAT on electricity and social rate until March 31, 2023
Solar Magazine – Belgium maintains lower VAT on electricity and social rate until March 31, 2023

The government of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo decided to reduce VAT last February and is now continuing that measure.

Social rate
The social tariff for electricity and natural gas will also be extended until 31 March 2023. This is a measure to help individuals or families pay their electricity and/or natural gas bills. The social rate is a favorable rate for electricity and/or natural gas that is identical throughout Belgium, regardless of the energy supplier or the network operator.

The Belgian government emphasizes that the current wholesale prices for gas and electricity are so disproportionately high that a market intervention is necessary. Earlier this week, the government argued for a European price ceiling. According to the government, there is no reason why gas prices in Europe should be multiples of the prices in Asia and America, when it is only transported to Europe for a few euros per megawatt hour. “Like the high gas price, the wholesale price for electricity no longer reflects the production cost of a kilowatt hour of electricity,” the government said in a statement. ‘A large part of this is generated by (renewable and nuclear) production units that are not confronted with rising fuel costs. In Europe there is a deep gap between costs and prices. The market no longer functions. So we have to intervene.’

19 degrees
The government is asking citizens and companies to take action themselves. To initiate this process, the federal government has decided to lower the temperature in all its buildings to 19 degrees Celsius. The use of air conditioning is regulated to a maximum of 27 degrees Celsius. Lighting in federal buildings and monuments will continue to be turned off between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Mortgage postponement
Meanwhile, the federal government is negotiating with the financial sector to give the worst-hit households a boost, including by postponing mortgage payments. The banks will further develop means to increase access to energy-saving measures.

Excess profits energy companies
Talks are also being held with energy suppliers to ensure that consumers requesting an installment plan can obtain it on simple request. The government will also take the necessary measures to ‘cream off’ the excess profits that certain energy companies are currently making.

A working group of experts from the energy regulator CREG, the Federal Public Service Economy and the Federal Public Service Finance must examine where these excess profits are located, whether they can be tackled in Belgium and which fiscal and legal instruments can be used for this purpose, without creating a level playing field in the field. jeopardizing the energy sector.

In the nuclear energy sector, excess profits are already being tackled for the 4 newest power stations, namely through corporation tax but also through an additional levy as part of the distribution tax. This levy will be increased this year from 750 to 838 million euros, an amount that will be redistributed entirely among consumers.

Solar panels
Finally, the Belgian government had already lowered the VAT for investments in solar panels, solar water heaters and heat pumps from 21 to 6 percent for homes that are less than 10 years old. This measure will apply until the end of 2023.

The article is in Dutch

Belgium

Tags: Solar Magazine Belgium maintains VAT electricity social rate March

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