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Total energy consumption of the region

In 2013, the Brussels-Capital Region consumed 22,539.1 GWh.
Although the total final consumption of all sectors combined increased by 6% in 2013 compared to the figure for 1990, it has decreased overall between 2004 and 2013 (-11%, -14% with a climate correction).
The main consumer of energy is the residential sector (housing, with 39% of the total consumption in 2013) followed by the tertiary sector (35%) and transport (22.3%).


The energy distributed in the Brussels-Capital Region enables various needs to be met: building heating in the residential and tertiary sectors, electric and electronic equipment, transport, industrial production, etc.

This energy consumption is the cause of emissions of polluting substances in the air, whose environmental impacts are considered in other indicators (see the chapter on air).

Data relating to the regional energy consumption come from the "energy balance", which presents the quantities of energy which are imported, produced, transformed and consumed in a country or region during a given year. The Brussels-Capital Region has had similar assessments since 1990.  The last available assessment in its validated form pertains to 2013. It should be noted that a major revision of the methodology used for drawing up the Brussels energy balance is currently in progress, and will have an impact on the results of this indicator from the data pertaining to 2014.

What are the quantities of energy consumed in the Brussels Region?

In 2013, the Brussels-Capital Region consumed 22,539.1 GWh (final energy and non-energy consumption), with the main energy vectors being natural gas (43%), fuels and other petroleum products (30%) and electricity (25%).

Breakdown of the final energy consumption of the Brussels-Capital Region according to the economic sector and the application (2013, total = 22,313 GWh)
Source : Energy balance 2013 of the BCR

The allocated surface areas are proportionate to the share in the total energy consumption, of the sector or the application. The figures are expressed in GWh x 103.

The biggest energy consumer is the residential sector (residential buildings, 39% in 2013), followed by the tertiary sector (35%) and the transport sector (22%). The latter is an estimate based on the Belgian sales figures for vehicle fuels, which were divided across the three regions.

Evolution of the total consumption in Brussels

Evolution of the final annual energy consumption between 1990 and 2013, for the Brussels-Capital Region, with and without climatic correction
Source: Energy balances of the Brussels-Capital Region

(LCV: this calculation takes into account the lowest combustion value of each fuel type, in other words the amount of thermal energy that is released per unit of mass during the fuel combustion)
As a reminder: the climatic correction is aimed at identifying the influence of  the meteorological characteristics for the relevant year (DD 15/15) and therefore at giving an idea of the evolution of the energy consumption at a constant climate (in comparison to the climate of 1990 in this case).

In 2013, the total final consumption increased by 6% compared with the 1990 figure. However the recent trend shows a clear improvement in the situation: although the final consumption increased up until 2004, it has subsequently decreased overall.

This trend can be observed more effectively if we analyse the evolution of final consumption at a constant climate:

  • The final energy consumption in Brussels in 2013 equates to that of 1990.
  • Moreover, an examination of the results per sector shows varying degrees of evolution: an increase for the tertiary sector (+23%), a considerable decrease for industry (-36%), a slight decrease for transport (-3%) and a stabilising trend for housing (although a decrease since 2004: -7%).
  • From 2004 to 2013, all sectors combined, the total final consumption (with climate correction) decreased by 14%.

Explanatory factors

The consumption, primarily by the residential sector and to a lesser extent by the tertiary sector (and in the case of the Brussels-Capital Region even by the industrial sector), is closely linked to the climate variations, since these have a decisive impact on the heating requirements.

The “climatic correction” of the energy consumption enables us to estimate the consumption at a constant climate (in this case compared to the climate of 1990). This estimate is intended to expose the impact of the meteorological characteristics on the relevant year. The years 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013 for instance, which are characterised by a higher consumption than the years 2007, 2009 and 2011, were indeed colder.
The evolution of the consumption is also the result of other economic evolutions, such as the ones that are linked to the prices on the energy markets. At a constant climate, the decrease in energy consumption as it is demonstrated by the observations from the most recent years, can hence be explained by the important price increases since the autumn of 2007.

On the other hand, the evolution of the consumption is also influenced by basic trends such as:

  • the evolution of the population, its standard of living and its consumption habits, and the evolution of the building stock;
  • the evolution of the economic activity (production, stock, ...) and the employment that comes with it;
  • the evolution of the extent and quality of the equipment of households and businesses (vehicle stock, electric and electronic equipment, ...),
  • the effect of behaviour which reduces energy consumption, either imposed (for example via regulation) or voluntary (following awareness-raising among residents or building managers). The energy and mobility policies pursued by the public authorities also come into play here.
Date de mise à jour: 30/05/2020