Eandis has an ambitious plan for the Flemish energy sector
The management and board of directors of Eandis, the biggest energy grid manager in Flanders, have come up with a future plan to carry out a huge reform in the distribution of electricity and natural gas in the next few years. “We are appealing to the Flemish government to use the momentum to regulate everything in one go,” says managing director Walter Van den Bossche. According to current regulations, grid managers buy up green current certificates for solar panels and then pass on the cost to the consumer. But this has cost Eandis and competitor Infrax each 450 million euros extra expenditure which they could not could recoup from the consumer.Offsetting this shortfall will inevitably lead to an increase in the energy bill in future, and according to Eandis it could result in an average increase of 9% of the net tariff by 2016. Eandis would also like to see the seven existing intermunicipal companies merge to form a singe grid controller in order to facilitate additional savings and to reduce the number of ‘political mandates’. It as also a simple move to introduce a unified price that will level out the regional discrepancies between the municipalities. Eandis has reached out to archrival Infrax to discuss a merger of the two grid controllers which, according to Van den Bossche, will inevitably result in more efficiency. Electricity and gas rates are currently calculated according to consumption, but the massive growth in renewable energy installations like solar panels and rational energy use have caused Eandis’s total customer consumption to drop. “This makes it difficult to distribute our grid costs, which are mostly fixed,” says Van den Bossche. He would like to see consumers pay a fixed fee, and have both producers and consumers carry the cost. Flemish legislation stipulates that private partner Elecrabel must gradually withdraw from Eandis municipal cooperative companies in the period between 2014 and 2018.