The Federal Government announced on Friday that €57 million will be made available to help those struggling with gas and electricity bills. The funds will be disbursed via national social aid provider CPAS.
The measure has been described by Social Integration Minister Karine Lalieux as a "preventative policy" to help households most affected by the unprecedented rise in energy prices, Belga News Agency reports.
"Those in precarious financial situations often lack the funds to switch energy providers or don't have the means to reduce their energy consumption," she said in a press release. Indeed, the number of Belgian households seeking assistance with bills has shot up and many households have already reduced their energy use as much as they can. "This additional €57 million will bring some certainty to those in most difficulty."
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Those wishing to benefit from the aid must submit their claims via CPAS but do not have to be already on the system. The minister hoped that the funds will allow households to pay bills as well as purchase domestic equipment that is less energy-consuming. It can also be used to pay for better household insulation as well as help fund awareness and assistance programmes.
On Wednesday, the government announced a raft of measures aiming to reduce the burden of high energy costs on individuals and businesses. This included heating allowances worth €200, a measure that saw heating suppliers flooded with requests about how to apply for the reduction.