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Night and Peak Hours Electricity Belgium (Dual Meter)

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night and peak hours electricity

The dual rate meter is one of the three types of electric meters in Belgium. It offers two distinct pricing modes: peak hours, otherwise known as daytime rates, and off-peak hours, also called nighttime rates. In this energy guide, we explain their differences and the night and peak hours in Belgium.

Night and Peak Hours Electricity Belgium

Off-peak hours take effect during the night as well as on Saturdays and Sundays. The hours of the night rate are more or less the same in all the municipalities of Belgium, but there are some exceptions.

In the table below the day and night rate hours for electricity in Belgium are displayed.

Night and Peak Hours Belgium
Rate When? Hours
Peak rate Monday to Friday 07:00 - 22:00
Night rate Monday to Friday 22:00 - 07:00
Night rate Friday, Saturday and Sunday Fri 22:00 - Sun 22:00

Public holidays that fall on a weekday are registered on the counter of the daily meter. Holidays that fall on a weekend are of course recorded on the counter of the night meter. There is therefore no adjusted rate for public holidays.

Exceptions to the Standard Hours

There are some exceptions to the night and peak hours that are displayed above. This is mostly because the electricity consumption in these municipalities differs from others. It is recommended to check the list of exceptions of your network operator. In these municipalities, the night rate applies from 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM.

In the Brussels Capital Region there are no exceptions to the night and peak hours.

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Why do Night and Peak Hours Differ?

The difference in the electricity price for night and peak hours was introduced to level out the electricity consumption in Belgium. The nuclear power plants were producing a large and stable amount of electricity, but the consumption differed greatly depending on the time of the day.

Therefore, the network operators lowered their tariffs during the night and raised the tariffs during peak hours. By doing so, it became interesting to use more electricity in the evening in order to save on the energy bills. In Flanders the difference does not exist anymore for the distribution costs, on which you will find more information later in this article.

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What is a Dual Rate Meter?

The dual rate meter (compteur bi horaire / tweevoudige meter) is one of the three electric meter types available in Belgium. The main difference with the single rate meter (compteur simple / enkelvoudige meter) is that it has two pricing modes depending on the schedule of the day and week:

  • Peak hours (heures pleines / dagtarief), otherwise known as “day rate” (tarif de jour), which charges your supplier's kWh at full price. This price can be higher than the standard single rate price.
  • Off-peak hours (heures creuses / nachttarief), otherwise called “night tariff” (tarif de nuit), which are cheaper than the day tariff. The night rate is also applicable during the weekend.

The dual rate meter therefore has two consumption indexes which need to be submitted when taking a meter reading.

Higher consumption households such as large families will benefit more from the dual rate meter. Indeed, by using all energy intensive household appliances during the night (dishwasher, dryer, electric heater, etc.), their electricity bills will be significantly lower.

The price per kWh in peak hours is generally higher than the price of a kWh of a single tariff meter. However, this can change depending on the energy supplier and in some cases the price per kWh is the same during all hours.

Finally, if you have a budget meter or a power limiter, you will still be eligible for peak and off peak rates.

Advantages of a Dual Rate Electricity Meter

The biggest advantage of a dual electricity meter is that you have the opportunity to save on your energy costs by switching on electrical devices with a high consumption during off-peak hours. This can lead to relatively large savings, especially for households with a high electricity consumption.

The potential savings of this type of electricity meter, however, strongly depend on your energy consumption and the chosen energy contract. Therefore, always perform a comparison based on your annual energy consumption when concluding a new contract.

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When to Switch from a Single Rate Meter to a Dual Rate Meter

Switching from a single meter to a dual rate meter after all these explanations can be tempting. However, one must be aware of all the steps and the changes that this implies.

As a first step, you must be sure that the dual rate meter is suited to your household and your consumption schedule. Do not hesitate to take the test for a week before deciding, by following these steps:

  1. Take a meter reading at the start and end of the off-peak time slots
  2. Calculate your consumption during off peak time slots by subtracting the end of slot reading of that day from the start of slot reading
  3. Total up all your off peak hour consumption
  4. Calculate your total consumption during that week by subtracting your very last reading from your very first reading
  5. Divide your total off peak consumption by your total consumption

If the result is greater than 0.35 (35%) then you might want to consider getting a dual tariff meter.

Future of the Dual Rate Electricity Meter

With the arrival of the capacity rate in Flanders, the night rate will be abolished. Since 2023, the distribution system operators have been charging the same network rates during off-peak and peak hours. Naturally, the energy suppliers may continue to make a distinction between the day and night rates. The difference will probably become smaller as a result of the abolition of the night rate and multiple suppliers already charge the same price per kWh during all hours.

The capacity tariff ensures that the network tariffs are based on peak consumption and not on consumption per kWh and will only apply in Flanders. According to the VREG, the capacity tariff will distribute the network costs more fairly among consumers and many households will benefit from their energy bills.

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