Residential customers without an energy contract with a supplier from 1 October to 31 March* are called winter customers. During this period, Sibelga supplies them with energy under special conditions.

*This period can be extended each year by governmental decree depending on the weather conditions.

Who are the winter customers?

There are three types of cases:

  • Residential customers who have been ordered to be cut off during the winter by a court order from their commercial supplier
  • Residential customers who reach the end of their contract during the winter period and whose contract is not renewed with their commercial supplier
  • Residential customers without contracts during the winter period and whose CPAS considers that winter supply is necessary.

This does not include:

  • Customers whose supply has to be interrupted for safety reasons
  • Customers who move into a new flat or house and do not regularise their situation. These customers consume energy without a contract.

How do I become a winter customer?

During the winter period, from 1 October to 31 March*, Sibelga may receive a request from the CPAS to supply energy at the social rate to a particular customer.  

During this same period, when we receive a request for a cut-off authorised by the judge or a request for the end of a contract, without a new contract being concluded with a commercial supplier, the customer becomes a winter customer and Sibelga supplies him with gas and/or electricity at the social rate until 31 March*, the end of the winter period.

What happens at the end of the winter period?

The winter period ends on 31 March*. At the earliest two months before this date, we send a letter to the winter customer informing them that the social tariff supply will soon end. We ask them to regularise their situation and conclude a new energy contract with the commercial supplier of their choice before 1 April.

If they fail to do so, we will initiate the procedure for closing their meters, following which their gas and/or electricity supply will be cut off.

At what rate are they billed?

Winter customers are billed at the social rate.

No more protection after the winter period!

At the end of the winter period, i.e. from 1 April, this protection measure ceases. If the customer has not regularised his situation with the commercial supplier of his choice, his meters will be closed.