These dormant contracts are “dormant extension products”, that is, products that are extended for existing customers whose current contract expires. “This type of product is not actively offered to new customers and neither does it appear in the results of online price comparators (except in the CREG Scan)”, explains the Electricity Regulatory Commission and some gas.
“In practice, only a very limited number of suppliers use this type of product, but in 2020, it concerns more than 500,000 often old contracts with fixed products of a longer duration (up to 3 years) and at high prices. , especially in comparison with the lower price level of the current active offer, ”continues Creg, which wants this type of product to no longer be authorized.
Consumers are advised to consult the “CREG Scan” in order to make an informed choice when changing product or supplier. “It is still the only tool on the Belgian energy market to contain, for households and small professional consumers, all existing products, including dormant products and group purchases made”, we recall.
Creg also looks back on the evolution of the electricity and gas markets in recent months. While electricity prices were at a “normal” level at the start of the year, the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown period led to a significant drop in economic activity, which drastically lowered prices from electricity. The end of containment and the economic recovery went hand in hand with a recovery in demand for electricity and therefore prices during the summer (third quarter).
Regarding gas, the supply of natural gas remained in surplus in the first half of 2020, when the winter was mild. In mid-2020, natural gas quotations hit their lowest point. At the start of the fourth quarter, quotations on the wholesale market returned to a level considered normal, which is reflected in the prices of natural gas for the consumer, it is further noted.