With increasing energy costs, demands increase for financial support. This is felt in the Public Social Action Centers (CPAS). A new audience is calling for help, often for the first time. Part of the middle class cannot cope with these rising costs.
Workers or pensioners, a new public has been appearing for several weeks in the country’s CPAS. People who dare to push the door, because the household budget is upset. The search for alternative energy solutions is one of the reasons for these visits.
Charlène D’Haese, social worker – Maison de l’Energie – public center for social action in Charleroi explains this phenomenon for us: “We sometimes have people who come forward for financial aid for pellets and for whom we find that they are in a clearance plan with their energy supplier for regularization bills, which are sometimes substantial and who find out through this – there that we can also help them according to their financial situation and their difficulties “.
These people are asking for public aid for the first time. Faced with increases in the last quarter of 2021, requests are starting to arrive en masse, as regularization bills fall.
Yves Peigneur, Head of Energy House / Charleroi Coordinator: “It’s a bit sir and madam, given the increase in energy bills now, people will end up paying two rents: the base rent and the amount of this energy bill.”
The forced switch from variable to fixed contracts is a reality that will weigh on budgets. Not once a year, but every month …
Yves Peigneur, Head of Energy House / Charleroi coordinator, tells us about his fears for the future: “It could be a disaster if this price increase lasts a year or two, it could put people in extreme difficulty.”
A fear: that requests for help explode, for all energies. Weeks after weeks.