Housing

How do you choose an energy supplier that suits your needs?

Every year one in every five households switches energy supplier(1). By doing so they can save as much as €1,000 a year(2). But how do you choose an energy supplier that’s also good for your pocket?

In comparing different energy suppliers there are a number of things to bear in mind. Your consumption is one, obviously. But these four tips may also help you choose the right supplier.

Compare current prices

Always keep your most recent bill to hand. Energy prices can fluctuate considerably. So make sure you’re not comparing apples with pears.

Some interesting figures

Energy prices can fluctuate considerably. Just compare these annual rates* for average consumption** of gas and electricity (3):

Flanders

  • Cheapest option: €575
  • Most expensive option: €1,197

Brussels

  • Cheapest option: €641
  • Most expensive option: €1,145

Wallonia

  • Cheapest option: €671
  • Most expensive option: €1,308

*To facilitate comparison of suppliers, these amounts exclude grid charges, taxes and levies that depend on the region where you live.

**Average electricity consumption in kWh for an average household.

Distinguish between gas and electricity

Most households use the same supplier for both gas and electricity. Mostly for reasons of convenience, But it’s worth the trouble to compare different providers with one another. For both gas and electricity.

Keep your eyes open for discounts and promotional actions

Suppliers know that many consumers regularly compare prices. And from time to time they come up with substantial discounts and promotional actions. Keep an eye on these and take advantage of them.

Fixed or variable?

With a fixed price the energy price is set for the whole duration of the contract when you sign it. Will you choose a variable price? Then the energy price will be periodically adjusted on the basis of the fluctuations in energy prices in the market (which are influenced by the season, the supply of gas from abroad, the capacity of our nuclear power stations, etc.)

It is difficult to say which of the two will give you the better deal. This is also very personal and depends on your expectations. So if you’re mainly concerned with certainty you’ll be better off choosing a fixed price. Do you expect the energy price to fall in the foreseeable future? Then you might do better to choose a variable price. But it might just as easily go against you.

The excercise seems complicated?

As you can see, there are quite a few things to be looked at in choosing the right energy supplier.