Brussels, (Brussels Morning)- Brussels Energy Minister Alain Maron (Ecolo) wants to argue at the consultation committee on energy prices for an extension of the social rate, also for the middle class. He also asks for uniform rules for the heating and lighting of public buildings. “Otherwise, Brussels will take it itself,” it sounds.
According to BRUZZ, the consultation committee on rising energy prices will take place in the Egmont Palace. For the Brussels Region, energy minister Alain Maron (Ecolo), Prime Minister Rudi Vervoort (PS) and Dutch-speaking minister Elke Van den Brandt (Green) join the table. The latter says that she will fully follow Alain Maron’s point of view.
Maron himself mainly follows his national party line. Ecolo asks for more support for small self-employed persons and SMEs in paying their energy bills. The social rate must be extended (which has already been decided on Tuesday evening, ed.), the party believes, and expanded if possible. “We ask to open it up to more people, including the middle class. An exact income limit has yet to be discussed,” said spokesman Simon Vandamme of Minister Maron. Finally, Maron asks for a ceiling on energy prices at European level.
Brussels Prime Minister Rudi Vervoort (PS) is scant with comments, but is already arguing for an extension of the existing social measures. “As a regional government, we will propose complementary measures,” said his spokeswoman.
Heating up to 19 degrees, lights off between 1 and 6 o’clock
These additional measures appear to be mainly related to energy savings. Minister Maron would prefer a general limitation of heating or air conditioning in public buildings. “It would be coherent and understandable to equate this restriction across the country, but we are looking at these options separately from the consultation committee in Brussels,” his spokesman said. “The government must lead by example.”
Among other things, Brussels is looking at a limit of 19 degrees for heating in public buildings, both in the Region and in the municipalities. “For buildings with air conditioning, we are thinking of a limit of 27 degrees,” says Vandamme. The government is toying with the idea of turning off the lighting of public buildings and monuments between 1 and 6 a.m. Further consultation should determine whether this may also apply to illuminated advertising screens, offices or certain street lighting.
“We will consult with the private sector, the social partners and the municipalities,” Maron promises. With regard to street lighting, consultations will soon take place with Brussels Mobility, which manages the lanterns on regional roads, and Sibelga, which does the same for municipal roads. “There is no decision yet,” emphasises the minister. The Brussels government will meet on Thursday.