Energy Crisis: Consumer Panic

Gas, oil or electricity: Energy prices have been rising for several months. Faced with this crisis, individuals ask many questions. The most common remains “How can I reduce my electric and gas bills?” In Liège, the Energy Unit of the Walloon Region is trying to provide answers to increasingly concerned citizens.

At the energy desk rue Léopold 37 in Liège, individuals are welcome from Tuesday to Thursday between 9am and 12pm. Advisors respond to the concerns of the visitors. With rising energy prices, concern about the heating bill is the top priority. But in general: In these difficult times, the nature of the inquiries is changing. “Before the crisis and the rise in energy prices, people came with projects”specifies Julien Janray, energy consultant. “They had time to think and to ask themselves the right questions. Since this crisis, we’ve felt a certain urgency, a certain desire to reduce our bills quickly. But for that we need to take the time to think, not to make bad decisions.”

In Belgium, between February 1, 2021 and February 1, 2022, the average annual bill for a household consumption of 3,500 kWh of electricity fell from 900 euros to around 1,600 euros (link to the consultation on the evolution of electricity prices Energy – CREG statistics). Even more astonishing is the observation over the same period regarding the development of the natural gas price. The annual bill has risen from just under 1250 euros to just over 3250 euros in one year.

Some hints

At the energy counter we try to keep calm and give some tips for reducing energy consumption. “We can play with daily actions to make better use of energy”explains Julien Janray, energy consultant. “It’s about paying attention to the lighting or the standby system of the devices. You can also invest directly in biomass appliances or wood stoves. These are very worthwhile investments. Finally, you can also analyze your supply contract.”

In Wallonia (in Liège, Huy, etc.) there are 16 energy meters where specialists will help you solve your energy problem. You can find more information about this completely free service on the energie.wallonie.be website.

Stephane Savaris

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