SHARE
COPY LINK

ENERGY

Electricity bills in Italy rise by almost 30 percent from Friday

Households and businesses in Italy will be paying more for electricity and gas from Friday with another steep price rise at the start of the third quarter, despite government measures to limit the increase.

Energy prices are set to rise in Italy this week despite government interventions.
Energy prices are set to rise in Italy this week despite government interventions. Photo: Sebastien Bozon/AFP

Household electricity bills will rise by 29.8% for the typical family and gas bills will go up by 14.4%, Italy’s energy regulatory authority Arera confirmed in a press release on Tuesday evening.

The new national tariffs come in from Friday, at the start of the fourth quarter of 2021 (October-December).

The increase comes amid surging energy costs across Europe, and beyond.

The price rise passed on to Italian consumers could’ve reached 45 percent, Arera said, if the government had not stepped in to cap the new rise in rates.

The Italian government last week announced measures costing three billion euros aimed at limiting a steeper rise in energy prices for consumers.

READ ALSO: Italy to spend €3bn on keeping household energy bills down as prices soar across Europe

As well as keeping the cost to most families below 30 percent and 15 percent, the government measures will keep additional costs at zero for those least well-off, including households with an income under 8,265 euros, families with at least 4 dependent children with an income of less than 20,000 euros, those who receive a state pension or unemployment benefit, and people who are seriously ill, Sky TG24 reports.

The measures also cut the ‘general charge’ from gas bills for all throughout the last quarter of 2021, and on electricity for families and some small businesses.

Last quarter, the retail cost of electricity rose by 9.9% and gas by 15.3% from July 1st.

The government also stepped in that time to cap costs, with 1.2 billion euros in state aid.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said last week that many of the reasons for the energy price increases were temporary but called for long-term action, including at a European level, to address the problem, including through diversifying supplies.

READ ALSO: When can you switch on your heating in Italy this winter?

Italy is highly dependent on imports and consumes a large amount of gas.

Some 40 percent of its primary energy consumption is gas, compared with about 15 percent in France, according to official statistics for both countries.

Europe is facing soaring power prices as its economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, while natural gas reserves are at a worrying low level as winter approaches.

Italian consumers are now paying some of the highest electricity prices in Europe, with the average cost already at 145.03 euros per mw/h (megawatt hour) according to newspaper Corriere della Sera.

This means the cost is higher than in Portugal and in Spain, where electricity costs have soared to 141.71 euros per mw/h, reaching an all-time high on September 9th after significant price rises across much of Europe over the past 12 months.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

MONEY

REVEALED: Which are Italy’s cheapest supermarkets?

As the cost of living crisis hits household budgets in Italy as elsewhere, a new study says switching supermarkets could shave thousands of euros a year off your grocery shopping bill.

REVEALED: Which are Italy's cheapest supermarkets?

As the cost of living keeps rising amid soaring inflation – Italy’s inflation rate hit a 37-year high at the end of last month – many households across Italy, as elsewhere, are finding it increasingly hard to make ends meet.

READ ALSO: What is Italy doing to cut the rising cost of living?

The government’s recent suggestion of lowering or even scrapping IVA (VAT, or sales tax) on basic food products hasn’t materialised. But consumers could still find ways to save on their grocery shopping.

Many shoppers are now switching supermarkets to save money, or considering it.

And doing so could pay off. A new study from Italian consumer group Altroconsumo showed a family of four can save up to 3,350 euros a year by shopping at discount supermarkets such as Aldi and Eurospin.

Altroconsumo, savings on grocery shopping

Maximum possible savings by type of shopping and household size. Graphic courtesy of Altroconsumo.

For context, the study found Italian families with two children spend an average of 8,550 euros a year on groceries. 

While discount supermarkets do allow for considerable savings however they also generally offer lower-quality products which not all consumers will be satisfied with.

Shoppers can also reduce costs by switching to supermarket own-brand items (i.e. items carrying the supermarket logo), available in stores such as Carrefour and Iper-Coop. 

In particular, shopping at Carrefour, which is the most affordable supermarket in Italy when it comes to own-brand goods, can allow a family of four to save as much as 3,250 euros per year (savings can amount to 2000 euros for individual consumers). 

Consumers who do not wish to part ways with branded products (prodotti di marca) can still save on their shopping, though in this case savings are comparatively lower.

Shopping at Esselunga – the most cost-effective Italian supermarket for branded goods – allows for savings up to 350 euros for single individuals and up to 570 euros for families with two children.

Finally, potential savings are considerably reduced for consumers choosing to stick with a spesa mista, meaning that they generally fill up their shopping cart with a combination of branded items, distributor-brand goods and low-cost goods.

Regional differences 

While switching supermarket can mean savings on food bills, exactly how much you’ll save varies greatly by region.

In particular, Altroconsumo’s latest report highlighted once again the stark divide separating the north of the country from the centre and south. 

READ ALSO: From coffee to haircuts: How the cost of living varies around Italy

 Of the 15 cheapest Italian supermarkets, only two are located in the central or southern regions of the boot (Sesto Fiorentino’s Coop-Fi and Spesa 365 in Bari).

More importantly, consumers living in the north and shopping at the cheapest supermarket or hypermarket available in their city can save as much as 18 percent on a branded-goods-only food bill.

In equal circumstances (i.e. buying only branded items at the cheapest local store), consumers living in most central or southern cities can only save between two and three percent. 

Convenience map by Altroconsumo

The “convenience map”, with the cheaper cities shown in green and the more expensive cities shown in red. Graphic courtesy of Altroconsumo.
SHOW COMMENTS