In August, the average electricity bill rose to 2,200 euros per year. For the gas bill, 3,800 euros were added. Together no less than 6,000 euros per year. The prospects for the coming months are not very promising unless for those who wear rose-colored glasses. Despite the insane prices and Test Aankoop’s recommendations, no new measure has been taken to ease the burden on families.
Extension of existing measures
Our plea for an extension of the existing measures until the end of this year was heard.
– The reduction of VAT to 6% on electricity and natural gas.
– The extension of the extended social rate until the end of the year.
“How it is possible that one does not get any further than this in consultation with all those responsible for this country is a mystery to us,” we conclude together with the consumer. “Certainly because prices have been rising since 2021.”
Our proposals against excessive invoices
The proposals we made to the consultation committee therefore continue to apply.
The governments already claim that they will lead by example and reduce consumption where possible. They themselves are not yet agreed on the what and how. Install LED for public lighting, reduce heating in public buildings, require businesses and shops to turn off neon signs, and so on. The symbolic measures they suggested are not sufficient.
Taxing excess profits
For some electricity producers, the current high gas prices are a real gold mine. This is because in the electricity market the market price is determined by the most expensive power plant that has to be switched on to meet the demand. This is often a gas-fired power station. As a result, some energy producers make large profits, as their revenues increase but their production costs remain the same.
We urge the government to further study how these excess profits can flow back to consumers rather than to energy company shareholders. It should not just be a promise or the initiation of an investigation. It should be noted that the federal government agrees with us in principle, but will analyze the implementation of this request by the end of September.
Fixed contracts at a regulated rate
Families no longer have the option of escaping the sharp price increases. Suppliers no longer offer fixed rates, although these are the most popular among Belgian households because of their predictability. As a result, the risks rest entirely on the shoulders of consumers.
We therefore continue to advocate that suppliers, in particular players with their own production capacity, should be obliged to offer one permanent contract at a rate regulated by the CREG. In addition, variable rates must be simplified so that they are again comparable for consumers. Unfortunately, that is hardly the case today. “Keep great care in the range of variable contracts that have become illegible and incomprehensible,” therefore remains our appeal. “And quickly please.”
Degrease energy bill
We also reiterate our plea to urgently degrease the energy bill and reduce it to its essence: energy and its transport. Other costs that unnecessarily increase the invoice do not belong in the invoice. Although today it is mainly energy prices that are rising sharply, now is the time to structurally rethink the energy bill and make it future-proof.
And our final advice to the authorities: ‘Now finally show some political courage.’
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