Electricity and gas suppliers have signed a “crown charter“by which they undertake to offer respite to their customers, in particular those who are most affected by the economic consequences of the health crisis, three ministers said on Saturday.
“Month after month, the government protected the hardest hit sectors. But as the recovery begins, the weaker ones risk being forgotten. For one in five families, the gas and electricity bill has become unpayable“, said Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Groen), her colleague from the Economy, Pierre-Yves Dermagne (PS) and State Secretary Eva De Bleeker (Open Vld), in a press release spouse.
All three asked for and obtained a gesture from the electricity and gas suppliers.
“By signing the corona charter, these suppliers commit to providing respite to their customers. In short, to those affected by the economic consequences of the health crisis“, specified the three members of the government.
“With us, it is estimated that one in five families can no longer make ends meet: their energy bill has become unpayable.“, underlined Pierre-Yves Dermagne, quoted by the press release.
He recalled that the government had already released 176 million to extend the social gas / electricity tariff to one million households. We want to continue to protect families and businesses. With this charter, the energy sector shows its solidarity and contributes to advancing the economic recovery, “said Pierre-Yves Dermagne.
By signing the corona charter, suppliers undertake in particular to reduce the amount of three-month advances (requested from SMEs, self-employed, etc.) as a guarantee to be able to be supplied with electricity or gas and to reduce as soon as possible the amount of the monthly down payment invoice for residential customers who benefit from the social gas and electricity tariff, with the status of protected customer.
Energy suppliers also undertake to offer payment facilities, not to terminate a contract because the customer would be subject to corona unemployment or because he works in a sector that had to close temporarily and to no longer work. ” require from the customer no additional guarantee in the event of signature or extension of contract if the customer is subject to corona unemployment or because he works in a sector which has had to temporarily close.
This corona charter will be evaluated by the end of the year and will eventually be extended, the three members of the government said.