Every Belgian who is actively concerned with his energy and wants to save smartly on his electricity costs can today consider a dynamic energy rate. What exactly is a dynamic energy contract? We will be happy to explain it to you and tell you whether it is interesting for your living situation.
What is a dynamic energy contract?
The known contracts that you can choose between every year are a fixed and a variable rate. At one fixed energy contract you pay the same price for the entire duration of your contract (usually 1 year). A variable energy contract on the other hand, follows price fluctuations on the energy market (monthly or quarterly).
With the introduction of new standards and technologies, such as the digital meter, there has been more since 2021 a third option: the choice of a dynamic energy contract, where your price is constantly moving. The rate changes every hour of the day, based on supply and demand on the Belgian energy exchange (also called spot markets).
In practice, you can consult the hourly rates for the next day every day to adjust your consumption accordingly. For invoicing, your energy supplier receives your hourly consumption from the grid operator every month, and then matches this with the variable hourly prices. For this reason, monthly invoicing is recommended.
In a nutshell:
- A dynamic rate is a variable rate that does not fluctuate per month or quarter, but per hour. You pay a different price every hour of the day.
- Both negative energy prices and exceptional price peaks can occur.
- If you have solar panels, any power injection will also follow changing market prices.
The introduction of the dynamic energy contract is at the request of Europe. The EU hopes to encourage consumers to consume more during off-peak hours and to avoid expensive peak times, to prevent overloading the network. In Flanders you can already opt for such a rate, but not yet in Brussels and Wallonia.
Am I eligible for a dynamic rate?
From January 1, 2024, you can opt for a dynamic rate at Luminus if you meet the following conditions:
- You live in Flanders.
- You have a digital meter.
- You do not have an exclusive nightly rate.
- You have one or more large power consumers, such as an electric car, a second refrigerator or freezer, air conditioning, a swimming pool, etc.
Recommended, but not mandatory:
- You have the option to plan your major energy consumers flexibly. This is the only way to benefit from a dynamic energy contract. Think of charging your electric car, heating your heat pump or using your home battery smartly.
Is a dynamic energy contract interesting for me?
The CREG rightly warns that dynamic rates are not interesting for every Belgian household. You actually only benefit from it when you have a large energy consumption have. Moreover, you also have to be very flexible in planning or shifting that energy consumption.
The cheapest times are usually between 00:00 and 06:00. If you have to use it during the day, it is best to do so between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. When there is little consumption, the energy price can even be negative. But conversely, the price can be very high, for example in winter. These prices are then higher than under a fixed rate, because no maximum price is set under a dynamic energy contract.
To benefit from a dynamic energy tariff, you must: free are intensively concerned with market prices, unless you have one smart control solution who does this for you. This way you can always be sure that your appliances only start consuming when the prices are at their lowest.
However, you get little or no benefit from a dynamic energy rate if:
- you are a small or average family without major consumers, such as a heat pump and/or an electric car.
- you find it difficult to schedule your daily consumption of lighting, your electric stove and dishwasher at other times.
A dynamic contract is therefore especially interesting today for Flemish people with a digital energy meter who consume large blocks of electricity and can plan their energy smartly via an automated energy management system. In all other cases, a traditional energy tariff is still the best choice.