Michael Bodmann

Average Flemish family paying 250 euros in "extras" each year for electricity, one third of the total bill

The Flemish energy watchdog, the VREG, has calculated that Flemish consumers are paying 1.4 billion euros "extra" in their electricity bill each year to cover costs which have nothing to with their own consumption. This is about 250 euros for an average Flemish family, or 32 percent of your total bill.   

The costs are connected to "public services", including street lights, budget meters, charging poles for electric vehicles, social energy schemes for the poor but most of all green energy costs. Supporting green energy policies accounts for the lion's share of the extra cost, about 1.3 billion each year. 

The VREG says that most people don't even know about these hidden costs, as they are not clearly indicated. The VREG also claims that the present system is not really balanced: an overwhelming majority of the extra money is being collected through the electricity bill and not the gas bill, to mention just one, while natural gas is posing a much heavier burden on the environment. Electricity is the energy of the future, they say, adding that the present system is giving the wrong signal.

It's up to the Flemish and federal politicians to change this, and to stage a tax shift, the VREG suggests. However, if they want to abolish the costs for Flemish consumers, Flemish politicians will have to find an extra 1.4 billion.