Consumers can always refuse the advance proposal made by the energy supplier. State Secretary for Consumer Protection Eva De Bleeker said this on Saturday.
Due to the high energy prices, many energy suppliers are increasing the advances. According to De Bleeker, some energy suppliers even do this to an extreme extent. The advances are intended to protect the consumer against high final bills by spreading the cost over several invoices. ‘In this way, sudden surprises are avoided if payment difficulties arise. There is a lot to do about these advances due to rising energy prices. A lot of suppliers send their customers the proposal to increase the advance, in order to avoid a significant increase in the final settlements’, says De Bleeker.
‘It is important that the consumer knows that he can determine the amount of his advance. He therefore does not have to follow the proposal that the supplier makes to him. It is equally important to think carefully and to scale the advance as realistically as possible. A low advance can temporarily provide some financial oxygen, but can result in a high final settlement,’ says De Bleeker.
De Bleeker has an appointment next week with the Federation of Belgian Electricity and Gas Companies (FEBEG) to emphasize the importance of realistic advance proposals.