Social Tariff Bonus: Flanders Dominates & Tips for Checking Your Energy Bills

2023-11-14 04:00:00

Federal Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten will submit to the government a draft bill introducing a “social tariff” bonus. This text will make it possible to grant an annual bonus to families who do not have access to the social energy tariff because they heat themselves via a collective installation. Flanders dominates. – DR By Sudinfo with Belga Published on 10/11/2023 at 3:04 p.m.

In 2024, this bonus should rise to 160 euros for households heating with a collective gas installation.

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“With this proposal, we are correcting an inequity for approximately 60,000 families who had flown under the radar before the rise in energy prices. Although these families were able to request energy bonuses – up to 980 euros for winter 2022-2024 with the basic package – we wanted to put in place a structural measure. This will be the case with the ‘social tariff’ bonus,” explained the minister.

Currently, the social energy tariff is only allocated to residential end customers, which automatically excludes all families connected to a collective boiler.

Read also Energy prices increased less in November than had been feared: here are the current cheapest contracts for electricity and gas

At the height of the crisis, the social tariff largely contributed to avoiding “a social bloodbath”, noted Ms Van der Straeten. “Several studies, notably from the National Bank and the CREG, have proven that the social energy tariff as applied in Belgium constitutes very effective protection against high and volatile energy prices for the most precarious households.”

Published on Thursday August 3, 2023 at 10:33 a.m.

Just as you check your receipt when leaving the store, it can be useful to check your energy bills. And, if necessary, have them corrected. We also explain how suppliers prepare your invoice.

Complaints have exploded at the Walloon energy mediator. This is due, in particular, to incorrect index statements or those sent too late, or new customers who do not receive deposit invoices. But before complaining to the mediator, it is possible to contact your supplier directly.

It is always better to check your energy bill before paying it, if you suspect an error. But how is this invoice established?

It is therefore the supplier who establishes the invoice, in which we find, in addition to the cost of the energy itself, a series of other items, such as transport, distribution, various taxes, contributions to the development of green energies (like offshore wind power)… Concerning the energy part itself, you must already see if you have a fixed contract or a variable one.

> Fixed contract. If it is a fixed price contract, it is quite simple: it is the volumes of energy (electricity or gas) consumed which will determine the cost, knowing that we do not consume the same thing every month . During the annual meter reading, which is done via distributors (Ores, Resa, etc.), if the index is correct, it is quite easy to calculate the final bill (for the energy part): consumption multiplied by the price, from which the deposit invoices already paid must be deducted.

> Variable contract. With a variable contract, it’s a little more complicated. The annual index statement will give the total consumption but the price is different each month (or each quarter under contracts with prices reviewed every three months). To calculate what you have theoretically consumed each month, suppliers have established a “standard customer” model. For example, if we take gas consumption, this “standard customer” consumes 17.7% of the annual total in January, 1.6% of the total in July. Let’s imagine that he consumed 20,000 kWh over the year, our customer will be billed for 3,540 kWh in January, but only 320 kWh in July, and so on for each month. The principle is the same for electricity but with less significant differences from one month to the next. The supplier then applies the price of the month (or quarter) to each consumption thus calculated.

> Deposit invoices. As for deposit invoices, they are established on the basis of your previous consumption or, in the case of a new customer, on the basis of estimates. Remember that you always have the possibility of modifying or having modified the deposit invoices. Let’s also remember that if you install photovoltaic panels on your roof, it is in your interest to notify your supplier, even if it is the distributor who is supposed to do so. Your down payment bills will then be recalculated downward for electricity.

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