Belgium in Brief: Home comforts at any cost?

Belgium in Brief: Home comforts at any cost?
Credit: Belga/Pixabay

In the context of cutting emissions for the sake of the climate, the reminders that small gestures count seem painfully patronising. It's even more infuriating when some of the loudest evangelists for energy sobriety are also some of the biggest polluters.

But behind the greenwashing, there is no doubt that individual action can have a major impact on household energy bills (although it will take much more than money-minded consumers to save the world from climate change).

With bills shooting up at an alarming rate, we are forced to consider the power of doing without. Yet our energy consumption normally understood by a monthly bill, it can be difficult to quantify the cost represented by the single use of an appliance. And with domestic comfort for years taking precedence over energy cost, how should we decide which mod cons to stick with and which to switch off?

Looking at energy costs in Brussels and working with the average consumption of some of the most popular household appliances, we've crunched the numbers to better understand the real price of modern convenience. Some of the results will confirm suspicions whilst others might surprise.

It should be noted that the figures are only approximate and will certainly fluctuate. Yet with many firing up their heating as the cooler weather returns and fixed rate contracts all but extinct, it might be instructive to think of the impact of individual appliances.

What will you unplug first? Let @Orlando_tbt know.

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your coffee break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

1. Increasing number of Belgians travel to France for their shopping

A growing number of Belgians are crossing the border to do their weekly shop in France, RTL Info reports. The savings can be massive: shoppers said that a full trolley of goods was up to €150 less in France than at home. Read more.

2. Interactive: How much are your home appliances costing you?

Credit: Canva

With Europe pitched into energy uncertainty and some Belgians braced for annual bills of up to €9,000 from September, households are keeping a watchful eye on their energy usage. Read more.

3. 'We must not stoke the flames': Belgian PM reacts to Putin's nuclear threats

Following the latest nuclear threats and a partial military mobilisation announcement by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo stressed the importance of remaining calm and not stoking the flames. Read more.

4. De Croo calls for improved peacekeeping mission in DR Congo

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has called on the United Nations (UN) to start a new peacekeeping operation Monsuco in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), as violence in the east of the country has escalated this year. Read more.

5. Royal Palace facade switched off

The energy crisis is hitting households everywhere with energy-saving measures being taken at the personal and public level. For its part, the Royal Palace has switched off the lighting of its facade since Monday. Read more.

6. Why Belgium's trade unions were striking again yesterday

On Wednesday, around 10,000 people gathered in and around the Place de la Monnaie in Brussels to demand more purchasing power as part of the third national strike this year against the cost of living crisis, jointly organised by Belgium's three trade unions. Read more.

7. Hidden Belgium: The Dumont Quarter

The beach town of De Panne might look disappointing when you step off the train. But a short walk brings you to a hidden quarter of 19th-century summer houses built in the dunes to the south of De Panne. Read more.


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