What will be cheaper and what will become dearer from 1 January 2020?

Many companies and officially bodies use the new year to make alterations to the prices they charge those that use their services. 1 January 2020 is no exception. While rent, stamps and beer are set to become more expensive, the price we pay for energy is set to fall.  

Big rent rise for some social housing tenants

Those that rent their homes from social housing associations in Flanders will see the way in which the amount of rent they pay is calculated change from 1 January 2020.

In future the amount of rent charged will be calculated based on three criteria: the market value of the property, the total income of those living in the property and factors related to the energy efficiency of the house or flat.

Most tenants will only see modest changes in the amount they have to pay. However, in some extreme cases rents will rise by 400 or even 600 euro/month. 

Energy distribution costs to fall

The amount we pay in distribution cost for our gas and electricity will fall from 01/01/2020. The distribution costs cover the construction and maintenance costs of the infrastructure needed to ensure that electricity and gas reaches our homes.

A glance at an electricity and/or gas bill reveals that distribution costs make up a hefty portion of what we pay for our domestic energy supply. In 2020 and average household will pay 31 euro/annum less in distribution costs for electricity and 10 euro/annum less for gas than was the case in 2019.  

Grid access charges to fall for those with solar panels

The amount owners of solar panels pay for access to the electricity grid is also set to fall by an average of 5%. Furthermore, the price charged to replace an existing energy meter with a digital meter (at the customer’s request) will fall from 274 euro in 2019 to 88 euro in 2020. The will still be no charge if the meter is replaced at the behest of grid management company. 

Price of drinking water to increase

A number of water companies are increasing the amount they charge for drinking water from 01/01/2020. De Watergroep that serves customers in 180 of the 300 Flemish municipalities is raising its prices to match inflation. This means that an average household will pay 3.34 euro/annum (+ VAT) more for water in 2020 than was the case in 2019. 

Stamps too are going up

The price of posting a letter is also set to rise. Domestic mail charges are to rise by an average of 5.1%. However, some price increases are much greater than this.

For example a book of 10 “Prior” stamps will set you back 21.6% more (11.80 euro) from 1 January. 10 non-prior stamps will cost 9.80 euro, a 6.5% price increase.  

Proximus too is increasing the prices of many of its most popular service bundles.  For example Internet+TVis set to go up by 1 euro/month, Tuttimus by 1.5 euro/month and Familus by 1.5 euro/month. 

Road worthiness test to become more expensive

The amount charged for a road worthiness test (for a car) in Flanders is set to rise by 20 cents from 32.50 euro to 32.70. The price of a re-test is set to rise from 13 euro to 13.10 euro. The supplement for getting your car tested too late will remain at 8.30 euro. The price charged for a practical driving test for a lorry is set to go up by 1 euro to 55 euro. 

Price of a pint set to increase

Both AB InBev and Alken Maes are increase the amount they charge for their pils beer from 1 January. It will be up to vendors whether they increase the amount they charge their customers accordingly. Non-alcoholic beer w<ill remain at the same price.