Electricity bills could go up by 30% next year
Due to a deficit caused by green energy subsidies, residents of Flanders could see their energy costs rise by as much as 30% over the next few years, says the Social-Economic Council of Flanders
Report expected next month
Paying off the accumulated debt between 2016 and 2019 would involve raising the costs by 30% from the baseline of 2013, according to calculations by the Social-Economic Council of Flanders. The freeze on tariffs ends at the end of this year, and the question is now how much they will go up on 1 January.
The Flemish energy regulator Vreg, responsible for setting tariffs, said it would not reply to speculation on the extent of the increase. “I only want to talk about things I’m 100% sure of,” said director-general André Pictoel. “The distribution tariffs will be published in the second half of November.”
According to Vande Lanotte, who is no longer in the office, a rise in electricity prices could be avoided. He called for the return of the fee charged to the owners of solar panels and other alternative sources of energy for connection to the grid. That would see the debt paid off in the same time frame, he said, while ensuring the bill was paid by those who benefited from the subsidies in the first place.
“We knew a price rise was on the way, but this is a shock for everyone,” said Ivo Michiels, head of the consumer organisation Test-Aankoop. “It means more families will suffer energy shortages.” The organisation has asked the government to spread out the increased cost over as much time as possible.
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