Hefty rise in the offing for energy consumers on variable tariff

Belgian energy regulator CREG sees the annual energy bill of households on a variable tariff shoot up by 130 euros.  Rising market prices are being blamed. The comparison is being made with prices in the summer of 2019 before the pandemic.

Around 40% of households are on a variable tariff.  Contract prices are modified every month or every quarter.  Energy prices are now under pressure as demand picks up after the economic downturn due to the pandemic.

The comparison is being made with 2019, a normal year, not influenced by the pandemic.  The annual average gas bill rises 84 euros.  The average electricity bill is up 49 euros.  Increases are even higher if compared with 2020 when prices fell due to the pandemic. Compared with 2020 the average annual energy bill is up 181 euros, the gas bill is up 111, the electricity 70 euros.

The figures do not take account of the final months of the year when prices usually rise as a result of winter in the northern hemisphere. 

Higher energy prices are not yet impacting on bills for fixed price contracts.  The regulator advises people on a fixed price contract that started before the recent price rises not to switch.

The regulator says people whose fixed price contract ends should compare prices before signing a new contract.  If prices fall in future contracts can be terminated after a month’s notice.

The regulator suggests people who fear a hefty bill at the end of their contract to increase their monthly payments.

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