Belgian electricity consumption decreases year after year
Electricity consumption by households and SMBs is going down year after year. While households and SMBs still used 54 TWh in 2017, it was 53,8 TWh in 2018. A slight decrease indeed, but it confirms a structural trend. In 2008, it was still 57,4 TWh.
“Part of the decrease of what’s taken from the grid can be explained by local production, in spite of the increased use of applications like heat pumps”, explains Bérénice Crabs, secretary-general of Synergrid, the federation of gas and electricity managers.
Another explanation? The increased energy efficiency. Replacing old household appliances, like old consuming refrigerators by new and more efficient ones, for instance, can make a world of difference. Sometimes people were even forced to change energy behaviour. When authorities decided to get rid of the old light bulb, people didn’t have any choice than turn to LED lighting.
“In Brussels we have observed the use of electricity over the last five years and we see a slight decrease every year, while we still noted a 10% increase year after year in the 80’s”, says Philippe Massart, communication director for Sibelga. Question is: what will happen the coming years? “All depends on the importance of the electric car and the evolution of other applications, like the heat pump”, says Massart.
Also in other countries electricity consumption is going down. According to two analysts of the International Agency for Energy (AIE), demand for electricity between 2017 and 2018 has decreased in 18 of the 30 members of the AIE.
Increased gas consumption
Industry, on the contrary, is the great glutton. Industrial consumption is even attaining the level of before the crisis. “This sure means the economy is in good health”, concludes Bérénice Crabs. “Gas consumption is going up too, the increase of gas consumption is even more important than the one of electricity.”