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Electricity

Electricity is most often used for heating by real estate developers or owners of let properties, because of the low investment required for this type of heating: no boiler, no tank, no water pipes... Without worrying about the low efficiency or the high running costs.

Although the efficiency of an electric radiator is between 90% and nearly 100%, the production of electricity by a gas- or coal-fired power plant and losses during transmission of that electricity via overhead lines, brings the final efficiency of this type of heating down to between 35% and 40%.

From the point of view of sustainable development, this is the worst solution.

The pros The cons
  • Inexpensive equipment and installation costs
  • Easy to use
  • No legal maintenance required
  • Very high running costs
  • Mediocre environmental record

Since July 1st 2003, the energy market has been fully liberalised in Flanders. In Wallonia and Brussels the liberalization occurred on January 1st, 2007 for both businesses and individuals. Consumers are now able choose their supplier, at the best price. A lowering of prices was observed after the liberalisation of the Flanders market. A similar price reduction is foreseeable in Wallonia and Brussels.

Change in the price of electricity for domestic use between 2000 and 2005

Annual consumption200020012002200320042005
600 kWh20,30€18,55€18,77€18,22€18,73€21,07€
1 200 kWh18,55€18,02€17,33€16,92€17,42€18,14€
3 800 kWh14,33€14,50€13,94€13,76€14,22€14,81€
7 500 kWh13,20€13,57€13,43€13,24€13,70€13,81€
20 000 kWh8,40€8,76€8,89€8,83€9,26€10,11€
Source: Eurostat (via the Federal Energy Department)

Below is a list of electricity suppliers in Belgium (as at December 31st 2004). This situation is changing since January 1st 2007.

Electricity suppliers

SuppliersNation-
wide
Flemish
Region
Walloon
Region
Brussels-
Capital
Region
ALE-Trading SA---
Belgian Shell SA---
City Power SA--
E.ON Belgium SA-
Ecopower SCR---
Electricité de France
Electrabel Customer Solutions SA-
Electrabel SA
Elektriciteitsbedrijf Merksplas SPRL---
Eneco Energie International BV--
Eneco Energiehandelsbedrijf BV---
Energo SA---
Essent Belgium SA-
Essent Energy Trading BV---
Lampiris SA-
Luminus SA-
Nuon Belgium SA
RWE Solutions AG---
SPE SA
Trianel Energie BV---
Source: CREG - Commission for the Regulation of Electricity and Gas,
situation at 31 December 2004

Inspection of electrical installations required

Whoever wishes to sell a residence must with effect from 1 July 2008 arrange to have the electrical installation of the premises checked by a certified body. The recommendation of the inspector is then submitted to the notary. Moreover, from now on property owners are required to have their domestic electrical installation inspected every 25 years.

The obligation only applies in respect of electrical installations that have not yet been subjected to a compliance inspection or in respect of which an upgrading on the public grid after the 1 October 1981 has not yet been applied for.
Full information, including a list of certified bodies can be found at the site of the FOD economy.

Entitlement to free electricity

Since 2003 every year all Flemish residents have been entitled to 100 kWh of free electricity, but one in five families are not allocated this free electricity. This is because energy suppliers do not always have the correct information about their consumers. Monitoring the relocations of customers is a problem in particular, says energy watch-dog VREG. The organisation does not see any negligence or malicious intent on the part of energy suppliers.

Useful addresses: