Tomorrow the protected gas market ends, for five and a half million “non-vulnerable” users, who are not among the poor, sick, elderly or in disadvantaged areas. Italians who have not yet switched to the free market will continue to receive gas from their supplier, but with the Placet tariff, still partly defined by the public energy authority, Arera. The protected market (with tariffs set by the State) will remain only for four and a half million users, deemed “vulnerable”. On the free market, Assoutenti discovered that the most expensive tariffs are in Rome and the South, the most convenient ones are in Milan, Trento, Trieste and Bolzano. Codacons advises those who want to enter the free market to prefer variable price contracts, which are currently more convenient than fixed price ones. For electricity, the protected market will continue until July 1st. For technical reasons, not all protected operators will be able to continue to supply electricity to customers, unlike for gas.
Italy will have to be divided into 26 zones, and each zone will be assigned to an operator. The auction will be held tomorrow, and the winners will be announced on February 6th. The users of the protected area in each area, if they have not opted for free, will receive methane from the winning company. Returning to the free gas market, Assoutenti compared the best offers available on the Arera “Offer Portal”, both for fixed price and variable rate contracts, for a typical family that consumes 1,400 cubic meters of methane per day. Rome is the most expensive city on the free gas market: at a fixed price the best offer is 2,045 euros per year per family, at a variable price 1,754. Catanzaro is also expensive (2,032 euros with fixed, 1,739 with variable) and Palermo (2,024 euros on fixed, 1,723 on variable). Milan is the city with the best fixed price offer (1,816 euros) and with the second best variable price offer (1,554 euros). The prize for the best variable price offer goes to Trento, with 1,553 euros. Trieste, Bolzano and Trento also do well with the fixed rate, with around 1,837 euros per year. At variable prices, after Trento there are Trieste, Bolzano and Milan, with around 1,554 euros.
«Citizens who reside in southern Italy appear to be the most penalized, as the operators’ offers present more disadvantageous economic conditions -, states the honorary president of Assoutenti, Furio Truzzi -. Energy companies are applying bullish and prudent policies, which end up putting users at a disadvantage. This is the worst way to enter the free market.” According to Codacons, variable price contracts are convenient for users of the protected market who want to switch to the free market. Again for the typical family that consumes 1,400 cubic meters per year, the gas bill on the free market is 14.56% higher than that of the protected market if a fixed price contract is chosen, while it is 2% lower .57% if you choose a variable price contract. But for Codacons this is a fictitious saving, considering that as energy prices on the markets rise, tariffs will undergo a consequent increase. «The transition to the free market confirms itself as a disaster for consumers – comments the president Carlo Rienzi -. Based on our forecasts, the balance sheet at the end of the operation will be negative, with an increase in spending on gas supplies and a general worsening of the economic conditions applied to users”.