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Green power ‘cheaper’ in Belgium

Published on 30/08/2004

30 August 2004

BRUSSELS – Electricity produced by environmentally sound renewable generation methods is cheaper than conventionally generated power in certain parts of Belgium, a leading consumer group claimed on Monday.

Test Achats made the claim after comparing prices charged by conventional energy companies in Wallonia and those of a firm called City Power, which sells ‘green’ power generated by among other things wind and water power.

The organisation’s investigation found that in certain parts of Wallonia the green electricity was actually cheaper than conventional power.

According to Test Achats a family living in the town of Andenne with an annual energy consumption of 5000 kWh would pay EUR 866.03 for conventional state-run energy, including electricity production, transport, distribution and taxes.

If the same family switched to City Power, it would pay just EUR 714, making a saving of EUR 152.

However the study did not only contain good news for environmentalists.

It found that if the same family lived in Virton and chose City Power energy, it would have to pay EUR 909.

The price difference arises because conventional energy tariffs are fixed by the state and cost the same regardless of the consumer’s location.

Consumers who opt for a private company are not covered by this obligation and may have to pay more for distribution costs.

City Power is charged different rates by state-run energy companies for the use of networks, which often forces it to charge above its basic rate of six cents for one kWh.

The price differentials mean that Wallonian households covered by energy companies AIEG and Simogen are automatic winners if they switch to City Power.

Customers with companies including ALE, IEH, PBE, Sedilec, Ideg or Intermosane can benefit if they consume between 3500 and 7500 kWh annually.

Households already with Interest, Interlux, Gaselwest and AIESH would not profit from the switch.

City Power, which forms part of Electrabel rival SPE, has already netted 10 000 French-speaking clients.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news