Overview

In 2018, the final energy consumption in Belgium was 34.6 Mtoe, 1.8% lower than its 2005 level (35.2 Mtoe). Industry, the largest consumption sector in Belgium, recorded a 2.1 percentage points increase in its share of total final energy consumption since 2005, reaching 35.5% in 2018. Over the same period, the residential sector slightly decreased its share to 23.3% (- 2.5 percentage points), while the services remained stable at 13.4% and the transport sector increased its share by 1 percentage point, reaching 25.6% of the Belgian total final energy consumption.

Figure 1: Final energy consumption by sector

Source: ODYSSEE

Energy efficiency for final consumers improved by an average of 1.2% per year from 2005 to 2018 or 12.5% over the period. This improvement was mainly driven by the residential sector (22.3% over the period) and the industrial sector (12.6% over the period). In transport, energy efficiency improvements have been steady, with an average of 0.4% per year since 2005.

Figure 2: Technical Energy Efficiency Index

Source: ODYSSEE

Belgium is a federal state, in which energy efficiency is a competence of the three Regions (Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels-Capital), with supporting measures from the federal government.

Within the framework of Art. 3 of the EED (directive 2012/27/EU), Belgium has set an indicative energy efficiency target of 18% reduction in primary energy consumption by 2020 relative to the ‘Primes 2007’ baseline. This produces a saving of 9.6 Mtoe. The corresponding final energy saving is 7.1 Mtoe (82.6 TWh).

Disclaimer : the measures listed below are currently under review and will be updated as soon as possible.

Table 1: Sample of cross-cutting measures

MeasuresNEEAP measuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Federal Government - Minimum efficiency requirements for new central-heating boilers on liquid fuels gas with a capacity>400 kWyesLink
EU-related: Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) - Directive 2012/27/EU - Federal government - Procurement rules for the 'central administrations' yesFor energy related products, office equipment and tyres, central authorities are to only purchase products satisfying high energy efficiency criteria. In public procurement contracts, central governments shall also require that service providers only purchase products meeting the same energy efficiency criteria. Central governments may only purchase buildings satisfying the minimum energy performance criteria applicable to building construction or renovation.Link
Source: MURE

Buildings

In 2018, the average consumption per dwelling was 19.3 MWh (1.7 toe). This is a decrease of 21.2% compared to 2005, where the average consumption per dwelling was 24.5 MWh (2.1 toe), an improvement of almost 0.4 MWh per year on average. It must be noted however that consumption has stagnated since 2015.

Overall residential energy consumption decreased by 11.4% from 2005 to 2018 (an average of 0.9% per year) despite an increase in the number of households and dwellings. The decrease mainly concerns fossil fuels, while electricity consumption remains quite stable, suggesting a reduction in space and water heating end-use. 

Figure 3: Energy consumption per dwelling

Source: ODYSSEE

Figure 4: Energy mix of households

Source: ODYSSEE

Globally, the final energy consumption of residential buildings was 1.04 Mtoe (12.12 TWh) lower in 2018 than in 2005. Two main factors contributed to increased energy consumption over the period – more dwellings (1.03 Mtoe), and "others" (0.55 Mtoe). This "others" factor could include various drivers such as the fact that there are more appliances per dwelling or that habits have changed (more intensive use of some appliances for instance). However, energy savings (2.56 Mtoe) more than offset the effect of the drivers of consumption growth and explain the observed decrease in global energy consumption.

Figure 5: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation of households

Source: ODYSSEE

While the energy consumption per employee in the services sector dropped by 17.1% since 2005 (likely driven by a decrease in consumption for space heating), electricity consumption remained almost stable until 2009, before declining slowly. This could be explained by the exponential diffusion of IT and electrical appliances in offices, which would offset the better efficiency of most electrical equipment.

Figure 6: Energy and electricity consumption per employee (normal climate)

Source: ODYSSEE

The regions have, each for their own territory, mainly implemented the EU Energy Performance of Buildings (EPB) directive, and promoted further energy efficiency through grants, audit schemes, awareness raising, etc. In Brussels, a special effort has also been made to develop exemplary buildings with virtually zero consumption and high environmental quality.

Disclaimer: the measures listed below are currently under review and will be updated as soon as possible.

Table 2: Sample of policies and measures implemented in the building sector

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Wallonia - Financial incentives for RUE investments in buildingsGrants for households, covering energy audits, roof insulation, wall insulation, floor insulation and heating systems (gas condensing boilers, heat pumps, biomass boilers and solar water heaters)2020: 14 PJLink
EU-related: Energy Performance of Buildings (Directive 2002/91/EC) - Flanders - Insulation and energy performance regulation for residential buildingsInsulation, energy performance and indoor-climate requirements introduced in the framework of the EPB directive (EPBD)2020: 16 PJLink
Brussels - Develop and promote exemplary buildings - BATEX (with virtually zero consumption and of high environmental quality) in the tertiary sectorFinancial support, technical assistance and public visibility for exemplary building projects in terms of energy and environmental performance, in order to demonstrate their technical and economical feasibilityLink
Source: MURE

Transport

In Belgium, road transport remains the main driver of energy consumption in domestic transport. Cars represent 55% of the total consumption in the sector in 2018, while trucks and light vehicles represent 38.6% (vs 53.5% and 37.9% respectively in 2005). Over the same period, there was a slight decrease in the share of bus (- 0.6%), rail (- 0.4%) and water transport (- 1.1%).

Figure 7: Transport energy consumption by mode

Source: ODYSSEE

Between 2005 and 2017, passenger traffic increased by an average of 0.1% per year (1.7% over the period). This increase was mainly observed in rail (+ 24.6%) while car traffic remained almost stable (+ 4%), reflecting a modal shift to public transport. Bus traffic, however, decreased by 23.9%.

Figure 8: Modal split of inland passenger traffic

Source: ODYSSEE

Freight traffic increased dramatically between 2005 and 2017 (average of 1.5% per year or 19.6% over the period). This increase was mainly observed in road (+ 22.8%) and water transport (+ 29.5%) while freight transport by rail decreased over the same period (- 10.2%).

Figure 9: Modal split of inland freight traffic

Source: ODYSSEE

Energy savings between 2005 and 2018 (0.45 Mtoe) were not sufficient to counterbalance the dramatic rise in activity (0.9 Mtoe). Other factors, such as an increase in load factors for the freight transport, did however mitigate the increase of global consumption in transport somewhat.

Figure 10: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in transport

Source: ODYSSEE

Each of the three regions has implemented a diversity of measures, covering mobility, infrastructure, promotion of modal shifts and alternative vehicles, as well as unit consumption of vehicles.

Disclaimer: the measures listed below are currently under review and will be updated as soon as possible.

Table 3: Sample of policies and measures implemented in the transport sector

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Flanders - Measures improving the mobility needs and the environmental performance of transportThis measure comprises: - the Mobility Plan Flanders (focusing on mobility and improving the environmental performance of the vehicle fleet); - the Clean Power for Transport Plan (aiming at reducing the cost of clean cars, developing the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, and communication).2020: 20 PJLink
Wallonia - Financial incentives or funding devoted to transportSubsidies in the transport sector (water, road, rail) for investments in the rational use of energy in transport, whether passenger or goods transport.2020: 2 PJLink
Brussels - Measures in the transport sector (IRIS II Mobility Plan, COBRACE code, etc.)Brussels - Measures in the transport sector (IRIS II Mobility Plan, COBRACE code, etc.)Link
Source: MURE

Industry

The energy consumption of industry increased by 4.4% to 12.3 Mtoe between 2005 and 2018. In 2018, the main consumption sectors were chemicals (34.1%), steel (21.9%) and other branches (24.4%). The evolution of the consumption in these sectors is dramatically different, with respectively + 55.4%, - 19% and - 7.4% compared to 2005.

Figure 11: Final energy consumption of industry by branch

Source: ODYSSEE

Despite the economic crisis of 2007, industrial activity rose in Belgium between 2005 and 2018, starting 2010, inducing an increase in energy consumption (+ 2.5 Mtoe). Energy savings (- 2.1 Mtoe) and a slight decrease in energy consumption (- 0.5 Mtoe) caused by the shift from energy-intensive sectors (such as steel) to less energy-intensive sectors (such as chemicals) were not sufficient to compensate for this rise in activity. In total, energy consumption in industry increased from 11.7 Mtoe to 12.2 Mtoe during this period.

Figure 13: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in industry

Source: ODYSSEE

In Belgium, the energy efficiency policy in industry focuses on voluntary agreements between the regional governments (of Flanders and Wallonia) and industry. The ways of setting the targets and monitoring the results differ between the regions and have changed over time.

Disclaimer: the measures listed below are currently under review and will be updated as soon as possible.

Table 4: Sample of policies and measures implemented in the industry sector

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Flanders - Voluntary agreements in energy intensive industryVoluntary agreements with industry on energy efficiency, currently covering the period 2015-2020. Companies joining commit themselves to set up an Energy Plan and to carry out all profitable energy efficiency measures contained in it, in exchange for not being subject to other policy measures beyond the EU obligations.2020: 45 PJLink
Wallonia - Voluntary agreements with industryVoluntary agreements with industry on energy efficiency, currently covering the period 2014-2020. Joining companies commit themselves to carry out all profitable energy efficiency and CO2 emission reduction measures, in exchange for financial and administrative support and not being subject to other policy measures beyond the EU obligations.2020: 18 PJLink
Source: MURE