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The Ombudsman's Office has never received so many complaints as regarding energy bonuses: 'The government must learn lessons' |  money

The Ombudsman's Office has never received so many complaints as regarding energy bonuses: 'The government must learn lessons' | money

In one year, the Office of the Federal Ombudsman received more than 1,700 complaints about energy premiums. This is the largest number of complaints on the same topic in such a short period of time. The Ombudsman is calling on the government to learn lessons from the problems that occurred when granting installments and ensure that payment remains possible after February.

To reduce the sharply rising energy bill, the federal government has taken a series of measures. This also included energy premiums. The allocation of these allowances has gone smoothly for most citizens, Ombudsman David Bailey confirms.

a lot of problems

But many problems still arise, especially for the most vulnerable groups in society. “Citizens sometimes had to make a lot of effort to get the premium or did not get the premium even though they were entitled to it. For example, the well-intentioned measure caused a lot of frustration among citizens.” “The government must do better to maintain people’s confidence.”

Complaints varied widely. These were, among other things, the result of organizational problems in management. She had to process thousands of applications and requests for information. Some people were unable to apply, while others were able to apply but did not receive a decision months later. Still others are rejected for unclear, and sometimes incorrect, reasons.

Be better prepared, and be more articulate

The Ombudsman asks the government to give the administration adequate time and resources to prepare for the future. More attention should also be paid to vulnerable groups. They needed the reward the most, but they were the ones who had the most difficulty getting it. Finally, the Ombudsman requires clear information and rules.

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Delivery time

Baele also advocates that the FPS economy can still pay premiums in 2024 for those who are eligible. These are the people who management decides deserve the premium. They are at risk of no longer receiving the bonus because energy suppliers who are required to grant the basic packages must, in principle, submit their final report to energy regulator CREG by the end of February. This means they will no longer pay premiums.

Watch also. Many Belgians are still waiting for the energy bonus