Belgium's regional differences hinder expansion of smart energy meters

Belgium's regional differences hinder expansion of smart energy meters
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Tired of being surprised by energy bills that are larger than you expected? Perhaps it is time to consider a "smart" electric meter with a built-in communications function, which show exactly how much energy you have consumed each month, and the exact cost of your consumption.

With these "smart" or "communicating" meters, it is also possible to reduce the annual adjustment of your bills – which can sometimes bring a significant shock with it – to zero.

However, depending on where you live in Belgium, this solution may not be as useful as it may first seem.

In the Brussels-Capital Region, these “smart” meters are free via your provider – unless it concerns a new connection, in which case installing it will cost €100. Thanks to a premium system, it is also currently free in the Walloon Region. In this case, however, your current meter must be installed in a very specific box, the "25S60" box. If this is not the case, you will have to pay around €65.

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In both Brussels and Wallonia, however, exact billing is not yet available due to the fact that too few of these meters have been installed: only 170,000 gas and electricity smart meters have been installed across both regions, with Brussels lagging way behind when it comes to digital gas ones.

According to the Belgian Federation of Electricity and Gas Companies, that number of installations is not sufficient to justify the deployment of an industrial-scale billing service meaning that in both regions, you can request the installation, but the exact monthly billing – the main advantage of the technology – will not follow.

In Flanders, it is a different story. There are already more than two million communicating meters in private homes. Exact invoicing is therefore possible at the customer's request.

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