There is a rush on the sale of electric space heaters as Belgians prepare for a cold and expensive winter, marked by high gas prices and inflation. In Belgian stores, the sale of heaters and electric blankets has increased significantly, according to RTL Info.
Since August, several major stores have seen a significant increase in interest for the products. At one store, Krëfel, sales have massively increased compared to last year.
“For the month of August, we are at more than 2.5 times more sales for electric convectors and oil-filled radiators,” Frédéric Berghmans, spokesperson for Krëfel, told RTL Info.
Household gas prices have increased significantly this year, with the average annual gas bill jumping to over €5,900. Electricity is slightly cheaper at just over €3,200. Savvy Belgian households, in anticipation of the winter months, are choosing plug-in electric and oil-filled heaters to provide heating for bedrooms and other spaces this winter, in a bid to reduce their heating bills.
In anticipation of this surge in interest for heaters, retailers are already stocking their shelves.
“Consumers are already asking for heaters this week. We are expecting a rush for electric heaters. We have the stock. We have put everything in place in the stores,” said Corinne Nollet, purchasing manager for Vandenborre.
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Belgian consumers are also looking to cut down on their electricity bills with more efficient lighting. There has been an uptake in interest in replacing old incandescent and halogen bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs, which consume around 80% less energy than regular lighting.
One store manager at Vandenborre said that consumers were increasingly asking for solutions to reduce their expensive electricity bills with new lighting.
Across the border in France, citizens are taking even more drastic action, with the sale of candles on the rise over energy fears. French citizens are anxious about the possibility of power cuts and other disruptions during the winter period. For now, this trend has not been replicated in Belgium, which is less reliant on Russian fuel imports than its neighbours.