People in Belgium who want to share energy with a neighbour or family are reportedly not being allowed to do so for free. Five energy suppliers are already charging high administrative costs when they catch wind that a customer plans on sharing energy.
Energy sharing has been heavily promoted in recent months by the Flemish Government, and by grid operator Fluvius. Anyone with solar panels and surplus electricity can sell it to their neighbour or family via the 'energy sharing' system and can negotiate the price among themselves.
However, the Flemish energy watchdog, VREG, has found that five energy suppliers are charging extra for those who report that they plan on sharing energy. Companies like Mega and Luminus charge €150, while Eneco charges €60. People also have to pay extra with Dats 24 and Octa+Energie.
Flemish parties N-VA and CD&V are furious, accusing the suppliers of sabotage.
"If you charge these fees, to both buyer and seller, you are deliberately cutting corners," they claimed. The political parties are also demanding VREG to investigate the matter. The energy suppliers involved, meanwhile, maintain that the costs charged are proportionate to the efforts they have to make.