From 1 January, the capacity rate will be introduced on our electricity bill. Then part of that bill will be determined by our peak consumption. This will not change much for most families, the Flemish energy regulator assures. Organizing a party, for example, will not lead to a bill that skyrockets. “On average 6.7 euros extra”, the VREG calculated the electricity costs of a Christmas party.
Despite the lawsuit that Flemish energy minister Zuhal Demir (N-VA) has started against the introduction of the capacity tariff, the electricity bill of a Flemish family or company will look different from 1 January. Then a part – 7 percent of the bill – will be determined by the peak consumption: how heavily the power grid is loaded. The vast majority of the bill remains dependent on consumption.
The aim is to encourage families and companies to spread the consumption of mainly heavy appliances, such as a heat pump or an electric car. After all, due to the energy transition we will use less and less fossil fuels and more electricity. This results in a higher load on the power grid. By using the grid efficiently and spreading consumption, billions of heavy investments in the grid can be avoided. In this way, the network tariffs will remain affordable for everyone in the future, the regulator argues.
The regulator will soon start a major campaign to inform the public about the arrival of the tariffs. Key message: those who spread their consumption will pay less than those who do not. The new campaign also aims to reassure. People do not have to change their daily routine and the new rate will not lead to sky-high electricity bills. A Christmas party, for example, will cost the average consumer 6.7 euros extra on an annual basis due to the peak in power consumption.
A campaign was also necessary because there are many misunderstandings about the capacity tariff. For example, this is not an additional tariff, but a different charging of part of the network tariffs. People also do not need to change their daily routine. Spreading consumption is especially useful for heavy appliances. Just think of running a cooking wash or charging the electric car.
For most families, relatively little will change on January 1, according to the VREG. Much depends on the profile and the extent to which consumption is spread. For example, an average family with two children will pay an average of 11 euros more in network tariffs on an annual basis next year. Anyone who has an electric car will pay more than today. But by charging at night or using a smart charging station, for example, they can save a lot.
Studies previously indicated that about 60 percent of families will not lose out. That is the case for a group of about 10,000 smaller consumers, for example single people living in a small apartment. Their network tariffs tend to increase. But these are relatively small amounts, assures VREG general director Pieterjan Renier. The network tariffs will also rise for second-residents.
In concrete terms, the capacity rate is calculated on the basis of measured monthly peaks. This is only possible for those who have a digital meter. Those who have a traditional meter pay a fixed amount. There is also a minimum amount for the use of the network. The network tariff is also the same at all times: the difference between day and night hours thus disappears for network use.
For those who have a social rate, nothing will change at all and the capacity rate will not apply. Sixteen percent of Flemish families have a social tariff.