Heat and power bills may grow 130 euro more next year

Energy prices could go up by as much as €130 in the coming year for customers with a variable contract, the federal regulator CREG has warned.

A variable contract is one where the cost of electricity and gas is adjusted either every month or every quarter, depending on the contract, in keeping with the price movements on the world market.

About 40% of Belgian households have a variable contract.

The comparison was made by CREG on the basis of prices in the summer of 2019, before the pandemic hit. The two years since then are considered not to be representative, because of the closure of many businesses, families staying at home more in the daytime, disruption on international markets and so on.

However a comparison between August 2019 and 2020 – one normal August and one very abnormal – showed an increase of €84 for gas and €49.

Comparing prices in 2020, when world prices were low, with this year, shows an increase of €111 for gas and €70 for electricity.

If the trend continues, CREG warns, future price increases could be even more steep.

For the time being, the regulator says, customers with a fixed contract – a fixed amout every month, with a final reckoning at the end of a year – are unlikely to feel the effect of rising prices. Customers with a fixed contract are advised not to change, CREG said.

However those with a fixed contract that is about to expire should take care, the organisation said. The CREG website has a calculator which can present the best options depending on energy use in each household.

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