Flanders’ domestic gas consumption falls by more than a fifth
Gas consumption by Flemish households fell sharply over the past winter compared to last year, with a year-on-year reduction of more than 20 percent in February. Electricity consumption was also up to 6.5 percent lower than in the winter of 2021-2022. The numbers were released by grid operator Fluvius on Tuesday, based on anonymous data gathered from digital energy meters.
This is the second year in a row that Fluvius has recorded a drop in energy consumption, as high gas prices lead people to look for ways to cut their bills. In December, gas consumption declined by more than 18.5 percent compared to 2021. Consumption also fell in January (16 percent) and February (22.5 percent) compared to the previous year.
Fluvius describes these cuts as “unprecedented savings”. “This could indicate structural adjustments, for example by setting the thermostat one degree lower or heating less at night, closing or lowering some radiator valves, slightly lowering the boiler temperature, insulating better or replacing outdated gas appliances with fuel-efficient ones,” it said. Switching to alternative fuels such as wood or pellets can also explain the lower consumption.
In addition, there was a decline in electricity usage. For 2022 as a whole, this meant a reduction of 11.5 percent for households without solar panels, and 12 percent for those with.
A digital gas or electricity meter allows households to closely monitor their energy consumption and only pay for what they actually use. At the end of February, there were more than 2.3 million digital meters installed in 1.4 million households in Flanders.
© BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM