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Let's dismantle the energy bill

Published on 07/09/2022
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Let’s dismantle the energy bill

Today, energy prices are everyone’s concern. It’s no news anymore that they are rising and will continue to do so in the future. How is the energy bill structured and how to reduce it? Let’s have a look!

How is the energy bill structured?

To understand the structure of the energy bill you need to understand the structure of the energy market. Even if the energy supplier does the final invoicing, these costs are divided among all market players:

Who?What?Electricity bill example
1) Energy producer/
importer
e.g. Electrabel, Luminus, Eon, Solar panel owners, Fluxys (gas)…Produces and/or imports electricity and/or gasContribution for renewable electricity (0.02€/kWh)

2) Transmission grid operator

Elia (electricity)
Fluxys (gas)

Builds & maintains the high-voltage (electricity) / high-pressure (gas) energy grids. Must always ensure balance in demand and supply and also manages the interconnection with neighboring countries.

Grid costs (0.01€/kWh)

3) Distribution grid
operator

Fluvius (Flanders), Ores &
Résa (Wallonia) and Sibelga (Brussels)

Convert high voltage electricity/pressure gas into medium and low voltage/pressure and bring the energy to the end user through distribution network.

Grid costs (0.09€/kWh)
Data management
(14€/y)

4) Energy supplier

E.g. Engie, Luminus, TotalEngergies, Eneco,…

Ensure that customers have the energy they need and do the final billing to customers.

Subscription fee (50€/y)
Price/kWh for electricity
(0.36€/kWh)

5) Regulators &
Government

CREG (Federal), VREG (Flanders), CWaPE (Wallonia), Brugel (Brussels) + federal & regional ministers

Oversee the proper market functioning by ensuring that all actors comply with the rules. Authority to define valorization schemes, subsidies, informing customers,…

VAT (0.03€/kWh)
Taxes (0.02€/kWh)
The electricity bill example is based on prices of July 2022, avg. family consumption of 3500 kWh/y, total electricity price 0.53€/kWh.

How to reduce my electricity bill?

1) Choose your energy supplier carefully:

  • Compare the electricity unit prices €/kWh (offtake & injection)
  • Check how the fixed subscription fee charged? Pro rata or yearly?
  • Check the conditions coupled to promotions? Pro rata or yearly? What is the duration?
  • Review contract conditions
  • Switch energy supplier annually: suppliers often offer a 1 year promotion to new customers


2) Do small investments and thus gain small savings (some examples):

  • Lower heating & vent radiators
  • Do laundry at 30°C
  • Avoid standby consumption by switching standby devices off completely (e.g., TV)
  • Replace light bulbs with Led bulbs


3) Do bigger investments and thus bigger savings (some examples):

  • Invest in AAA household electronics
  • Isolate house
  • Solar panels
  • Home battery (only profitable currently in Flanders and Brussels)

Produce & store your own green energy

Investing in solar panels makes you less dependent on the electricity grid (+/- 30% self-consumption in Flanders and Brussels with solar panels and 60% with home battery), resulting in a lower electricity bill. Furthermore, the payback time is only 4 or 5 years for an average family (depending on where you live).
Solar panels are not only good for your wallet but also for the planet. You produce your own green energy and thus contribute to a carbon neutral world. The sun is a non-polluting, sustainable energy source and is also free. Your solar panels provide 25 years of energy without emitting CO2. The production, transport and recycling are not completely carbon neutral, but this is compensated by their long life. Solar panels are CO2 profitable today. Additionally, they improve the EPB score of your home
Today, the recovery and recycling rate of a solar panel is 94% (recycle fee is added on offer).

We hope that these tips and tricks help you to understand & reduce your bill in the years to come.

Sources

https://dashboard.vreg.be/report/DMR_Prijzen_elektriciteit.html

https://corporate.engie.be/nl/article/inzichten/rollen-en-verantwoordelijkheden-van-alle-spelers-op-de-energiemarkt

https://www.engie.be/nl/blog/bespaartips/5-tips-om-je-energierekening-te-verlagen/

https://www.engie.be/nl/blog/bespaartips/energiefactuur-verlagen-6-verrassende-tips/

https://www.engie.be/nl/zonnepanelen/

https://www.engie.be/nl/energie-besparen/zonnepanelen/opbrengst/

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