While doing market research on fuel prices, I’ve come across a table by the Flemish Regulatory Body for the Electricity and Gas Market (VREG) that illustrates just how scandalous the pricing strategy of electricity is in Flanders (Belgium). The graph shows how the price per kWh for electricity has evolved over the past year. The three lines differentiate between large consumption (green), medium consumption (blue) and low consumption (orange). Low consumers have always paid more than medium and high consumers, but between February and March this difference has been inflated to more than double the amount of medium users. Single people who consume less than 600 kWh pay almost triple the rate of large families consuming 3900 kWh. This implies while cutting down on your energy consumption there is a point where your rate doubles, effectively nullifying your efforts and where higher consumption would be cheaper. One could argue this is because the fixed-cost usage of the power grid, but the VREG will raise those as well. This just proves that any environmental consideration in Flemish policy making is an illusion. #shameful
*update: I have reveived a response from the VREG, that adds valid arguments to this discussion (available if you continue reading). However, the response does not take away the argument that small consumers have seen a considerable hike in price/kWh. I am considering having an interview with them, after careful further research*
Dear Mr di Glitterati,
VREG is not the owner of the power or the distribution grid, but the regulator of electricity and gas markets in Flanders, Belgium. The proposal you are referring to, the switch from kWh-based to kW (capacity)-based grid tariffication is still under consultation and therefore no decision on this has been taken yet.
However, the shift to capacity based tariffs makes sense in the rapidly changing electricity system, as evidenced by e.g. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/6607294/ and http://www.eurelectric.org/media/80239/20130409_network-tariffs-paper_final_to_publish-2013-030-0409-01-e.pdf.
The goal of the proposed shift is not to raise the grid tariffs, but simply to ensure a future-proof approach that ensure that all consumers (also prosumers with photo-voltaic panels) pay a fair contribution to the cost of the grid.
Best regards, Dirk