We’re paying more than our neighbours for electricity, but our gas is cheaper

A study carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) has found that Belgian households are paying more for their electricity than households in most neighbouring countries. PWC’s figures that come from various energy regulators also show that the price of gas here is relatively low.

An average Belgian household uses 3,500 KWh (3.5 MWh) of electricity per annum. In January 2021, this would set them back 234 euro per MWh or 819 euro for 3.5 MWh. In France they would pay 202 euro/MWh (707 euro for 3.5 MWh), while in the UK 1 MWh would cost 181 euro or 633.5 euro for 3.5 MWh. The Netherlands was the cheapest country of all with 1 MWh costing 171 euro per MWh or 598.5 for 3.5 MWh.  Only Germany was more expensive with 1 MWh costing between 306 and 349 euro depending on the energy distribution company.

The report says that the relative high cost of electricity here is due to the public service commitments imposed on suppliers and additional charges and levies imposed on electricity consumers. The public service commitment provision pays for (amongst other things) our street lighting and the provision of a lower “social tariff” that is payable by poorer members of society.

The report also looked into the affordability of domestic energy for disadvantaged households. Here in Belgium financially disadvantaged households spend a smaller proportion of their income on gas and electricity than is the case in neighbouring countries. This is due to the considerable price reductions they enjoy thanks to the social tariff. 

Gas is cheaper here

The situation is very different when it comes to gas. The average price in Belgium as a whole is 48 euro/MWh. However, this varies greatly between the regions. In Flanders you pay 42 euro/MWh, in Brussels this is 47 euro/MWh and in Wallonia this is 55 euro/MWh. Only in the UK (38 euro/MWh) is gas cheaper.  

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