Brussels and Wallonia residents looking for a new energy supplier can no longer get a contract with Belgian energy platform Bolt as the company has stopped accepting new Brussels customers. On Tuesday evening it also introduced a temporary customer freeze in Wallonia.
"Bolt is temporarily not accepting new customers in Wallonia and Brussels," said company spokesperson Dorien Janssens. "The energy crisis and existing regulations in Wallonia and Brussels mean that as a company we want to avoid taking risks. We must face the crisis and continue to grow sustainably."
Bolt hopes to "allow new Brussels and Walloon citizens on the platform as soon as possible... We see that electricity and gas prices have been falling again in recent days," says Janssens. "If this trend continues, we will be able to resume soon. We evaluate the situation weekly."
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"Yet the fact remains that regulations in Brussels and Wallonia are not ideal for energy suppliers who are often hit with unpaid bills. But even if households fail to pay their bills, the supplier must bear the energy, grid costs and taxes."
The comments were in reference to the household protections introduced that prevent energy suppliers from cutting off households unable to pay their energy bills.
But this can leave suppliers with long contracts to continue providing power, even after bills are unpaid. Bolt stated that in Flanders, the regulations are more balanced.