Gas and electricity firms 'abusing monopoly'

28th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

28 October 2004, BRUSSELS – Consumer watchdog Test-Achats warned on Thursday that customers in Belgium are still paying varying prices for their water, gas and electricity.

28 October 2004

BRUSSELS – Consumer watchdog Test-Achats warned on Thursday that customers in Belgium are still paying varying prices for their water, gas and electricity.

The organisation claimed some energy providers were abusing their monopoly in certain regions.

Test-Achats compared billing in different places and concluded that the price differences were "spectacular", with a variation of up to 222 percent for electricity and 463 percent for water.

A typical resident in Audenarde would pay EUR 1,417 for all his bills, compared to someone using the same amount of energy in Anderlues, who would have to pay EUR 2,486 – 75 percent more.

Test-Achats is also accusing companies in Wallonia of breaking the law. Customers living within eight metres of a public gas network should not have to pay a connection fee, but Test-Achats claims most companies are billing everyone. It intends to raise the matter with the Walloon government's energy department.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news

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