In a liberalised energy market, that is one open to competition, you are mainly in contact with two players: the supplier and the distribution system operator.
However, alongside these two main parties, other companies or bodies also contribute towards supplying energy and ensuring that the market runs smoothly:
The aim of liberalising the energy market (which has been the case in Brussels since 2007) is to put an end to certain monopolies and to enable consumers to choose their supplier. The intention is for separate companies to take care of the production, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity and gas.
It all begins with generating electricity and importing gas. Different companies compete with one another to sell energy to the suppliers who then sell it on to their customers. It may be, however, that one company both produces energy and sells it to consumers.
There are two of them: Elia for electricity and Fluxys for gas.
There is one such operator in Brussels (Sibelga) and several in the other Regions. They each have a monopoly over the network in their area.
The federal regulator, the CREG (Commission for Electricity and Gas Regulation, website in French), checks that all the players on the market abide by the rules. The CREG is responsible, among other things, for advising the public authorities, approving the transmission rates and calculating the social rate.
Brugel (website in French) is the energy market regulator in the Brussels-Capital Region. This is the body that issues licences for suppliers who wish to operate in the Region and monitors Sibelga and Elia (for the Brussels segment of the high-voltage network). It also grants green certificates and approves the distribution rates of Sibelga. In Flanders, Vreg fulfils this role, and in Wallonia it is Cwape (website in French).
Finally, you can call upon the energy mediation service (website in French) if you have not been able to resolve a dispute with an electricity or gas company.
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