The V-test allows you to find your cheapest supplier and make the switch. Statistics compared by the Flemish regulator show the average household can save 309 euros a year by choosing the cheapest supplier.
That figure takes account of both gas and electricity, but figures for gas and electricity are available separately. Leen Vandezande: “A household only using electricity can save up to 113 euros a year on average by switching. Natural gas consumers can save even more: around 200 euros a year for the average household”.
The VREG calculates the average price on the basis of all the energy contracts available on the market at the moment and compares this figure with the cheapest supplier on the market by looking at what the average household consumes. Some people with an advantageous contract won’t be able to save a penny, but for others massive savings are possible.”
The figures are of course averages and people have very different patterns of consumption. Marc has an annual energy bill of 1,000 euros. 700 euros consist of taxes and levies and you can’t make any savings there! The V-test only affects what the energy itself costs.
Leen Vandezande: “You can’t cut the cost of grid tariffs and levies by changing supplier. But these tariffs are calculated on the basis of what you consume. If you consume less, tariffs and levies will set you back less. VAT is calculated partly on the basis of the price of a kilowatt-hour. A cheaper kilowatt-hour will see you paying less VAT”.
The V-test prices include VAT but don’t take account of discounts. Leen Vandezande: “We recommend people do the V-test. In that way they can see which are the cheapest suppliers for them. Contact these suppliers and check if they are offering any extra discounts!”
Leen urges people to be careful with discounts. They only apply to the energy cost and there may be strings attached: you may have to be a customer for a full year in order to be entitled.
People who are signing their first energy contract in Belgium can do the V-test too using fictious consumption. “It will be a pointer” says Leen.
If you are on social tariff there is no point in changing supplier unless you are unhappy with the service.
Residents of the Brussels Region need to do the test at Brugel.