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Belgium's energy price increases the highest in the EU, study shows
Belgian households have seen their energy bills increase more than anywhere else in the EU over the past year, VRT reports.
The European Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) published a study on Friday that showed that households in Brussels saw their energy costs increase by 99% (calculation made in eurocent/kWh) between February 2021 and February 2022.
ACER compared energy prices in all 27 EU member states. The comparison was made between the cost of domestic energy in February 2021 and the price households had to stump up for their electricity and gas in February 2022. ACER used the price paid for energy in each of the 27 EU member states’ capital cities when making its comparison.
The figure for Brussels was way above the 64% increase seen in Amsterdam and the 13% increase in energy costs for households in Paris. Meanwhile, the average increase in the retail price of electricity in the EU as a whole rose by 30%, the average retail price of gas rose by 65% between February 2021 and February this year. Since the completion of the study energy prices have risen still further due to the war in Ukraine.
ACER’s figures paint a similar picture to those released in February this year in the annual report of the FPS Economy's Price Observatory, which showed that the price of energy products increased across Europe in 2021, but they rose on average twice as fast in Belgium.
In neighbouring countries, energy prices climbed by an average of 10.9% a year (+10.1% for Germany, +10.6% for France, +17.3% for the Netherlands), while in Belgium prices rose by 22.4% on average, the report found.
Only last week, Flemish energy regulator VREG reported that gas and electricity bills for Belgian households rose to a record level in April, as predicted by Belgium’s Commission for Electricity and Gas Regulation (CREG)’s forecasts for the first quarter of 2022. CREG warned that prices could “far exceed the historic highest level of 2007-2008 before the financial crisis.”
Households whose energy contracts renewed in April can expect to see their annual bill rise to a record average of €1,708, De Standaard reported.