Energy bills expected to rise when social tariff expires in July

Energy bills expected to rise when social tariff expires in July
Credit: Canva

Half a million households will see their temporary entitlement to a social tariff expire from 1 July, which could result in a sharp hike in their energy bills.

The social tariff offers reduced energy prices to certain vulnerable households, such as people who receive a disability allowance. During the pandemic, the government temporarily expanded the tariff to include around 500,000 people, including people with increased social security benefits. The support was again extended multiple times during last year's energy crisis.

This extension also now applies to those who benefit from increased healthcare interventions, such as people with low incomes.

However, from 1 July the extended social tariff for energy will end, resulting in a return to normal commercial energy tariffs for around 300,000 gas customers and 500,000 electricity customers. While suppliers will be obliged to apply the cheapest tariff for a period of three months, the Federal Energy Ombudsman Eric Houtman expressed his concern about the termination of the measure.

"The end of the social tariff from 1 July 2023 for this target group will have to be closely monitored." Houtman cited the Ombudsman's annual activity report and stressed in particular the need to ensure that suppliers do in fact convert the social tariff rates to the cheapest tariff.

Related News

"People are going to get a bill shock. The cheapest commercial product is more expensive than the current social tariff anyway. Especially for natural gas, that difference is big: several hundred euros a year," he told VRT NWS.

He called on affected households to be careful and be sure to compare the different tariffs on the market. This can be done via the federal energy regulator CREG's online comparison tool. "The cheapest commercial tariff with your supplier may not be the cheapest tariff on the market."

Copyright © 2024 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.