Measures and compensation available to those in the vicinity of Elia works
As a system operator, Elia strives first and foremost to prevent its infrastructure activities from having any impact. If prevention is not possible, then we try to minimise that impact. Since mitigation is sometimes not possible, Elia has developed a compensation policy.
Principles governing the application of measures and compensation
Measures are introduced and compensation granted based on the following principles:
- Transparent: the conditions are clear and available to everyone;
- Non-discriminatory: the policy applies to everyone uniformly;
- Proportional: measures and compensation are proportional to the impact of the work;
- Proactive: Elia will notify those covered by a specific measure or eligible for compensation
Compensation costs are factored into the electricity consumer's bill via transmission tariffs. The energy regulator (CREG) checks the accuracy of compensation for the implementation of infrastructure projects, as is also the case with other Elia expenditure.
In connection with the Ventilus project, the current compensation scheme will be expanded, taking effect for all 380kV overhead lines for which the first permit is requested after the final adoption of the Ventilus Regional Land Use Plan. In accordance with the above principles, this expanded scheme applies to all future 380kV projects in Belgium.
The visual impact of a new overhead line or an upgrade to an existing overhead line can reduce the value of your property or land. Elia offsets this loss of value by awarding compensation.
Compensation covers the entire loss of value and is calculated on the basis of the following parameters:
- the distance between your property/land and the overhead line;
- the voltage of the overhead line;
- the type of project: upgrade to an existing overhead line or a new overhead line;
- the value of your property, as determined by a certified valuer.
This compensation for the loss in value of your property/land is calculated as follows:
The distance used is the shortest distance between the axis (middle) of the overhead line and the home which has been granted a building permit (or considered to have been granted a building permit). Elia has this distance determined by a surveyor.
For property, the distance is determined on the basis of a hypothetical home, i.e. a home that can be built in accordance with building regulations.
For a new overhead line with a voltage greater than or equal to 150kV
Distance Compensation for a new overhead line Upgrade to an existing overhead line (with up to 2 voltages) * 0m-35m 25% 12.5% 35m-55m 20% 10% 55m-125m 10% 5% 125m-200m 2.5%
For a new overhead line with a voltage under 150kV
Distance Compensation for a new overhead line Upgrade to an existing overhead line (with up to 2 voltages) * 0m-30m 25% 12.5% 30m-45m 20% 10% 45m-100m 10% 5% 100-150m 2.5%
* An upgrade of an existing high-voltage line where the voltage level increases more than 2 levels is not considered an upgrade but a new line. The voltage levels in Belgium are 30/36kV, 70kV, 110kV, 150kV, 220kV and 380kV.
Assessing the value of property
The valuation of property is based on the current situation and only structures that have been granted a building permit (or considered to have been granted a building permit) are taken into account. The future presence of the overhead line is not taken into account.
The valuation takes into account all structures related to the residential function, such as a garden shed.
How is the valuation carried out?
1. Elia appoints an independent and certified valuer (recognised by VLABEL, KAVEX or CIBEX) or a court-approved expert. The valuer or expert determines the value of the property. Elia pays the valuation fees.
2. If you do not agree with this initial valuation, you can have a second valuation carried out by a certified valuer or court expert at your own expense.
3. The two experts (one appointed by Elia and one appointed by you) will then try to reach an agreement.
4. If no agreement is reached, Elia will, in consultation with you, appoint a third expert. The third expert produces a final valuation based on the two previous estimates. Elia covers half of the fees for this expert. You pay the other half.
Option to sellOwners of homes and land have the option to sell their property to Elia if the home or potential home is on a building plot within 100 m of the axis (middle) of a new overhead 380kV overhead line.
The value of your property is determined in the same manner as the valuation for compensation.
- Elia's offer to purchase is completely without obligation and does not imply expropriation of the property.
- The purchase price is the estimated value of the property before the construction of the new overhead line.
- The option to sell remains valid up to one year after the new overhead line commissions.
- Elia will put the house back on the market after purchase.
If the owner, after having already received compensation from Elia for the loss of value of the property, then decides to sell the property to Elia, the compensation already paid will be deducted from the purchase value.
When is the compensation paid?
If you are entitled to compensation, an Elia employee will contact you during the authorisation phase. Compensation will only be paid out after both a final enforceable permit has been granted for the project and the relevant infrastructure has been built in phases in your immediate area.
Businesses and farms
Acquisition of land
A plot of land required for the installation of infrastructure is purchased by Elia at market value. If the business/farm does not want to sell, a building lease or easement can also be agreed.
Compensation for businesses and farms
- Compensation is provided to cover any adverse impact on commercial activities for all businesses within 100 meters of the axis (middle) of a new 380kV overhead line.
- In all cases, compensation depends on the situation of each business/farm.
- Compensation is determined on the basis of an expert assessment of the possible impact of the new overhead line on the income of, or disruption to, the business/farm in question.
- A certified valuer is appointed for this purpose.
- The full impact, according to the expert assessment, is covered.
If a new 380kV overhead line spans property and/or buildings, additional restrictions on the expansion or operation of the business site are taken into account.
For the agricultural sector specifically, a memorandum of understanding has been established with agricultural organisations that covers compensation for damage to and restoration of agricultural land, etc. For more information about the agricultural protocol, please visit this page on .
Compensation for agricultural or commercial homes is determined in application of the same principles as compensation for residential homes with regard to distance, rates and valuation.
Option to sell
In the event of a new 380kV overhead line businesses and farms will have an opportunity to sell their agricultural/commercial buildings to Elia, provided all the following conditions are simultaneously met:
- The commercial impact on business activities or restrictions on the expansion or operation of a site in the event that a line spans property and/or buildings, as determined in the expert assessment, is so great that the continuation of business activities is not possible.
- The existing agricultural/commercial buildings are located no more than 100 m from the axis (middle) of the new high-voltage overhead line. The distance used is the shortest distance between the axis of the overhead line and the agricultural/commercial buildings which have been granted a building permit (or considered to have been granted a building permit). Elia has this distance determined by a surveyor.
The sales option for an agricultural or commercial home is offered if the conditions for the option of selling the farm/business are met.
The principles governing this sales option are the same as those for local residents.
When is the compensation paid?
If your business or farm is entitled to compensation, an Elia employee will contact the business/farm during the authorisation phase.
For farms, Elia will pay compensation for any site damage during the works, according to the principles laid down in the agricultural protocol. Compensation will only be paid out after both a final enforceable permit has been granted for the project and the relevant infrastructure has been built in phases in your immediate area.
Integration into the landscape
To limit the visual impact on the environment and local residents, Elia takes measures in the surrounding countryside. These measures often consist of implanting hedges, rows of trees and/or shrub borders.
Elia appoints a landscape expert to integrate overhead lines into the landscape and determines which measures will be taken in consultation with local stakeholders. Elia provides funds for this purpose.
Elia works with local authorities to determine which suggestions from the landscape expert's report can be offered as options for the environment and local residents.
Where possible, landscape integration is organised and implemented by the local Regional Landscapes organisation.
When is the compensation paid?After a final enforceable permit has been granted, Elia will appoint a landscape expert who will determine in consultation with local stakeholders the measures to be taken in parallel with and after the infrastructure works.
The community fund is available to the local community affected by Elia's infrastructure works. Elia contributes financially to this fund, thus helping to improve residents' physical environment.
The community fund is managed by Be Planet. Government authorities and civil society organisations can submit project proposals via a call for projects.
The focus is on projects that promote the ecological and energy transition and improve the physical environment in a sustainable way.
When is the compensation paid?After a final enforceable permit has been granted, Elia will pay the money into the fund to be managed by Be Planet. A call for projects wishing to be supported through this fund will be organised shortly after the work starts.