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Flemings are continuing to be thrifty with energy despite falling prices

Despite recent falls in energy prices Flemings are continuing to be thrifty when it comes to their consumption of gas and electricity. During the winter months gas consumption was down 20% compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile, electricity consumption was down between 3% and 4%. This is all the more remarkable given that Flemings were already economising on their energy consumption last winter as a result of sharp increases in the price of gas and electricity.  

After the coronavirus crisis the world economy made a strong recovery. This in turn saw a rise in energy prices. The war in Ukraine made the price of gas go through the roof, which in turn forced up the price of electricity to unprecedented levels. With energy prices at an all-time high Flemings started to become as thrifty as possible with their energy use. 

The data on energy consumption comes from the energy grid management company Fluvius. Its data is gathered from the growing number of homes that have digital electricity and gas meters. The digital meters provide Fluvius with anonymous information on domestic energy consumption. 

In a report on energy consumption during the winter months Fluvius says that despite recent falls in energy prices, Flemish households that have digital energy meters consumed less energy during the winter of 2022-23 than was the case during the winter of 2021-22. This is all the more remarkable given that gas consumption during the winter of 2021-22 was already down 15% on the previous year.

The figures in Fluvius’ report take into account temperature differences. This enables Fluvius to compare a cold winter with a mild winter without this influencing the figures.   

A fifth less gas

During the winter months (December, January and February) Flemings consumed an average of 20% less gas than they did in the same months during the previous year. Gas consumption in December 2022 was down 18.5% on December 2021. 

Meanwhile, in January 2023 gas consumption was down 20% compared with January last year, while last month gas consumption was down 22.5% compared with January 2022.

Fall in electricity consumption less pronounced

The fall in electricity consumption is less pronounced than with gas. In January and February 2023 respectively Flemings consumed 4.5% and 3.5% less electricity than was the case in January and February 2022.

For 2022 as a whole there was an unprecedented fall of 11.5% in electricity consumption compared with 2021. 

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