The 1.6 million private customers and businesses in Brussels and the provinces of Antwerp, Limburg, Flemish Brabant, Walloon Brabant, Liège, Hainaut and Namur who use Dutch gas, will convert to rich gas.
The conversion operations will start in 2018 and continue until 2029. So every year, a number of users will be converted over the summer.
You can check below, by entering your postcode, if your municipality is affected, partially affected or not affected by this change.
Which gas-fired appliances are affected?
For private customers, appliances running on natural gas are typically boilers, small and large water heaters, cookers and cooking hobs, stoves, convector heaters and decorative fireplaces.
The conversion to rich gas does not apply to appliances running on gas in bottles (propane or butane), nor to gas used by vehicles (LPG, CNG).
Get your gas appliances inspected
Are you living in a municipality that will convert to rich gas? You can check to see if your municipality is affected by entering your postcode in the search field at the bottom of this page.
If you are affected, your distribution network operator and/or your supplier will notify you well in advance. If you are affected, and before the actual conversion, you will have to call on an ‘authorised technician’ to inspect, and possibly to adjust, all your natural gas-fired appliances. In this way you can be sure that they will continue to run properly and safely on rich gas.
This inspection will be charged to you. Ask for this inspection in good time from your authorised technician, so that you can combine it with the next compulsory periodic inspection of your boiler.
Adapting the pressure regulator (limiter) on your gas meter
In some cases, a technician from your distribution network operator will have to adapt the pressure regulator (limiter) on your gas meter. This adaptation is free of charge. Your network operator will do this adaptation. This work is essential for security reasons.
You are therefore required to allow your distribution network operator to access your meter.
No technicians will visit Brussels and much of the Antwerp conurbation, because these areas don’t have pressure regulators on the gas meter. This means nothing needs to be adapted.
To know how to recognise a technician from your distribution network operator, check the operator’s website.
The conversion won’t make any difference to your gas bill
You pay per unit of energy (kWh) that you consume. The calculation on your bill will look different, but if you use the same amount of energy you will pay the same as before.
Why is the inspection of your gas appliances essential?
If you don’t get your appliances inspected, this could pose a risk after the conversion. Indeed, your appliance may not run at optimum efficiency, for example because it produces more CO (carbon monoxide), it consumes more gas or it wears out faster. An appliance in poor working order will cost more, is bad for the environment and might be harmful to your health in some circumstances. Regarding safety, remember that in most cases the rooms containing a gas appliance must have sufficient ventilation and must comply with the various safety standards in this field.
Some gas appliances are not compatible with rich gas.
Gas appliances produced since 1978 are generally compatible with rich gas, but sometimes they must be adapted to run properly and in complete safety.
Gas appliances made before 1978 will generally not be compatible, which means they will likely have to be replaced.
Gas appliances purchased in other countries likely do not meet the legal standards in force in Belgium. They must be replaced or made compatible with Belgian legislation if technically possible, provided the age of the appliance still enables this and provided the operational safety can be guaranteed. Only the manufacturer can provide professional advice on this.
As a result it is essential to have all your gas-fired appliances inspected by an authorised technician. This technician will also be able to check whether all the installation environment conditions are met in order to ensure your safety. So you will then be able to sleep soundly.
Ask your technician for a visit report indicating which of your appliances have been inspected and any adaptations made. This will provide you with documentary evidence of the technician’s visit and any work carried out.
The inspection can only be done by an authorised technician
Inspection of your gas appliances must be done by an authorised technician, which means someone qualified to do so. There are three types of authorised technician:
- a technician certified by your Region to carry out the compulsory periodic inspection of boilers: a GI or GII technician;
- a technician from your appliance’s manufacturer;
- a technician from the official distributor designated by the manufacturer of your appliance brand.
You can consult the list of technicians who are certified by your Region for a compulsory periodic inspection of boilers : simply enter your postcode below.
What does the inspection cost?
The cost of the inspection and any adaptation of your domestic appliances will depend on the number and type of appliances that have to be inspected, as well as the fees of your authorised technician. We estimate that in most cases it will cost you anything between € 0 and € 150 for 1 to 3 domestic appliances (non-contractual estimation - September 2017). This estimation is based on monitoring of prices charged on the market and takes into account a broad range of applicable technical factors. You should ask for several price offers and make the most of competition.
If you ask for this inspection in good time, you can combine it with the next compulsory periodic inspection of your boiler. This will save you from calling out your technician specially and from paying out twice for his travel costs.
Landlord or tenant: who pays what?
The owner of any gas appliance is responsible for checking the appliance’s compatibility with rich gas and for any adaptation of the appliance.
The landlord of a rented residence must pay the costs for the inspection and any adaptation of the gas appliances that they own.
The tenant must pay the costs of the inspection and any adaptation of the gas appliances that they own. Where necessary the tenant must give access to their accommodation by their landlord’s authorised technician.
As the tenant, always check to see whether or not your rental contract includes a clause that makes you responsible for the costs of the inspection and adaptation of your landlord’s gas appliances.
As the tenant, you should also notify your landlord of the conversion, and of their obligation to carry out an inspection and to make any necessary adaptations to the gas appliances in the accommodation they rent out. That’s because the tenant will be alerted about the date of the conversion to rich gas by the distribution network operator and/or the gas supplier. It is therefore your responsibility to alert your landlord.