Brussels, Belgium: The municipality of Schaerbeek will be required to pay an additional €1 million towards its electricity as well as the gas bill in 2023, as per the sources. The energy is ultimately used for municipal power schools, nurseries, sports centres, as well as administrative buildings.
Councillor of the Budget, Michel De Herde, described it as massive. “Sibegla warned us: The new fixed-price contract negotiated at the time for the 19 municipalities will undergo an increase in 2023. The new contract we are moving towards, with prices relative to our reality, will increase our bill from €1.8 million in 2022 to €2.8 million in 2023.”
As a result, the municipality will have to take drastic measures to limit its use of energy. This will involve actual cost savings, such as telling staff to turn off lights when leaving a room and reducing temperatures in municipal buildings. However, not all buildings can turn down the thermostat.
Moreover, de Herde mentioned in the statement, “In nurseries, they need 20 degrees. In classrooms, they need 18 degrees In the workplace, 19 degrees.”
The new energy bill is especially unwelcome against mounting economic costs and pressures for Schaerbeek’s municipality authorities.
Furthermore, the councillor stated, “The bad news is piling up. We will have three salary indexations for municipal agents in 2023. Our CPAS, itself an employer, must also heat its premises. There is an increase in request for aid from citizens, particularly in energy bills, but not exclusively.”