In 2014 the price paid by industrial customers in Belgium was between 9% and 47% higher than that paid by companies in France, Germany and the Netherlands. However, figures from the first months of this year show that the so-called “energy handicap” has widened still further to between 27% and 73%.
Uncertainty about of the reliability Belgium’s nuclear power stations and the limited availability to import electricity from abroad have seen the price of electricity rise considerably.
In addition higher distribution costs and taxes make electricity dearer still. Energy costs are higher in Wallonia than in Flanders and small companies are more disadvantaged than big firms.
Febeliec wants the government to take measures to ensure that the price of electricity in Belgium reflects electricity prices paid by industrial customers in neighbouring countries. Febeliec says that this would make Belgian industry more competitive.
Febeliec’s Director Peter Claes told the VRT that "The consequences could be dramatic if the relevant authorities don’t take action. Any further delay is playing with fire”.