Europe: Belgians can’t get away from high energy prices even after they’re dead. Because of the high cost of natural gas used in the cremation process, the prices in Liège, Wallonia, have increased dramatically.
Cremation is becoming a more common method of body disposal in Belgium. According to figures from the Cremation Society, roughly 62 percent of remains in Belgium were cremated in 2019.
Moreover, this percentage jumped to up to 74 percent in 2020, owing to an increase in mortality and higher funeral costs as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic. Belgium is becoming one of Europe’s cremation leaders.
Around 3,700 people are cremated each year at the Robermont crematorium in Liège, according to funeral home worker Fouad Elmekki, who told RTBF: “Throughout the week, we are overloaded with the number of cremations.”
Along with this, the funeral businesses’ energy expenditures have doubled in less than a year. “We paid €9,000 in January 2021. “We paid €36,000 in January 2022,” stated Phillipe Dussard, the funeral home’s General Manager.
Electricity expenses at the cremation have also risen dramatically, from €8,000 to €20,000. Belgian energy costs are 231% greater than those in France. Due to energy unpredictability and a scarcity of thermal fuels, electricity bills hit new highs in 2021.
And, despite the crematorium’s best efforts to protect consumers from price increases – especially considering the sensitivity of their line of business, which is a rise in fees is all but certain.
The popularity of cremations has continued to climb, according to Neomansio, the owner of the Robermont crematorium site.
In Belgium, cremations have increased by 8.03 percent since 2019. Around 73 percent of all Belgian corpses were burned in 2021. The Liège area accounted for more than half of these (56 percent).