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    Several thousand Belgians will receive cheaper gas

    © Belga
    The extension of the criteria to all housing funds and AIS organisations is likely to affect 1,853 flats - around 5,000 people.
    © Belga

    Several thousand Belgians (thought to be in the region of 5,000), in addition to the current 258,000, will receive the social gas tariff. This is according to the advice of the Commission for Electricity and Gas Regulation (known as “CREG”). The organisation is preparing to follow the Minister for the Economy, Kris Peeters, the newspaper Le Soir reported on Tuesday. Moreover, the CD&V minister initiated the request for CREG’s view. The social tariff will enable a reduction in gas costs amounting to hundreds of euros per year.

    In practical terms, the criteria for integration within the social tariff will be broadened. Benefiting from this will be residents of any building having a gas-fired boiler collective belonging, amongst other groups, to a social housing agency (known as an “AIS”) or a housing fund. Up to now this only affected flats heated by a collective gas heating system, belonging to the one of the three regional housing funds in Wallonia, Brussels or Flanders.

    The extension of the criteria to all housing funds and AIS organisations is thought to affect 1,853 flats – around 5,000 people. This would amount to a total cost of €472,515. This will be payable from the “protected customer gas funds”, funded by those customers on the normal tariff.

    Also studied was the avenue of extending the criteria to certain CPASs (Public Centres for Social Welfare). The CPASs in question are those managing collective gas-fired boilers for social ends. Several thousand additional Belgians might possibly be affected by this, with a further cost of €3.2 million.

    Consumers on the normal tariff could see their charges increase by €0.85 per unit, as a financial gesture of solidarity. Before these proposals can proceed, Minister Peeters must still consult with the regions and submit orders which satisfy the budgetary complaints he is currently receiving from the federal government.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times