Belgium spent €6.2 billion to cushion energy bills in 2022

Mitigating the impact of high energy bills cost Belgium's federal government ​ €6.2 billion in 2022, De Standaard reports based on figures from the country's Court of Audit. The bulk of that amount is revenue the government missed out on by reducing VAT on electricity and gas.

According to the Court of Audit, the Belgian federal government lost more than 1.6 billion euros in tax revenue by reducing VAT on energy prices from 21 to 6 per cent. The audit agency does indicate that this number may be overestimated, as it does not sufficiently consider reduced consumption.

The second most expensive measure was the social energy tariff that around a million Belgian households are entitled to, De Standaard writes. The reduced energy rate for lower-income families cost the country's government €1.26 billion in 2022. The third most expensive measure was the so-called basic energy package, which provides an energy discount of just under €200 a month for most Belgians.

Belgium offset some of that spending by levying contributions from the energy sector, although revenue proved relatively low compared to costs. A surplus profit tax on energy and a contribution from the nuclear and oil industries provided €611.7 million in revenue, leaving a total energy support deficit of over €5.5 billion.

In 2023, the Court of Audit projects a much lower net cost for energy measures of €1.5 billion, but it is not at all certain whether the cost will actually be that much lower. Much depends on whether the surplus profit tax on energy will legally hold up and whether certain measures will be extended beyond March 2023.




Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels