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The Belgian energy market has been progressively liberalized since 2000. This means that the Belgian households and companies are free to choose their gas and electricity supplier.  
The liberalization of the energy market is consecutive to the European legislation. However all parts of the energy sector are not open to competition. There are on the one hand the commercial activities and on the other hand the regulated activities. This means that the market actors fulfill different roles.
The electricity producers and the natural gas shippers are in the liberalized part of the energy market. The running of the transmission grid on which the produced energy is transported is a regulated activity and is not open to competition. In Belgium, the transmission grid operators (TGO) are Elia for the electricity and Fluxys for the natural gas.
The distribution grid operators (DGO) are connected to the transmission grids with their distribution grids. They are responsible for the running, maintenance and development of the infrastructure that provides electricity and natural gas to the households and companies. Different distribution grid operators have the monopoly within the territory in which they operate.
As Clearing House Atrias acts as an intermediary between the energy suppliers and the DGOs on the one hand and the DGs at TGOs on the other hand. So the state of the Belgian energy market has evolved from decentralized Clearing Houses to a central Clearing House.