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EXPLAINED: Who can claim a discount on energy bills in Italy?

You could get help with your Italian energy bills as part of an updated government scheme to reduce costs - and you don't even need to apply. Here's a look at who's eligible.

EXPLAINED: Who can claim a discount on energy bills in Italy?
How you could get help with your energy costs in Italy. Photo by Francesco Casalino on Unsplash

In response to rising energy bills due to the knock-on effect of the war in Ukraine, the Italian government has rolled on an existing energy bonus to bring down costs.

It forms part of a wider package of measures worth €14 billion to curb the war’s economic impact on Italy, including extending petrol tax discounts and the deadline to claim Italy’s so-called building ‘superbonus 110’.

READ ALSO: Italy plans to cut air conditioner use to save energy

The state aid follows a previous multi-billion euro package, introduced after Russia invaded Ukraine, which made soaring energy bills over the past year even worse.

Fuelled by the surging cost of gas imports, energy prices hit a record in January, which then continued to rise as Italy relies on Russian imports of natural gas for energy than most of its European neighbours and produces very little of it within the country.

Italian authorities consequently passed a new law in March aimed at lowering utility bills for those on lower incomes, which has now been rolled on to the third quarter of 2022.

Following its extension on Monday, as detailed in a government press release, the ‘Social bonus for electricity and gas’ has been approved for another three months.

Here’s what homeowners need to know about claiming it and how to find out if you’re eligible:

Who the scheme is for

The funding is primarily or people on lower incomes, but the income level was raised in March.

READ ALSO: How to save money on your fuel in Italy

More families can claim the discount on utility bills, as it is was made available to those with an ISEE – an indicator of household wealth – of up to to €12,000.

The ISEE is a calculation based on income and other factors and, if you fall within this bracket, you can already benefit from the subsidy.

How will energy supplies be impacted by the Russia-Ukraine war? Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP

The latest update to Italy’s Social bonus for electricity and gas will reach more households. Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP

This marked a hike on the previous ISEE limit of around €8,000, meaning more bill payers – an estimated 5 million households in total – can offset their energy bills.

Households with four or more members with ISEE up to €20,000 can also access the bonus, as can those who claim the citizenship income and people with serious illnesses.

How do I claim?

You don’t need to apply for funding, as Italian energy regulator Arera should automatically grant the discount based on household data held by the tax authorities (INPS).

As long as you have previously submitted your ISEE information, you don’t need to do anything or fill in any forms.

To check your details are up to date, make sure you’ve completed the Dichiarazione Sostitutiva Unica (DSU) form that proves your ISEE for this tax year.

Bear in mind that each applicant is entitled to only one bonus per bill type – electricity, gas and water. So if you claim the bonus for being on a low income, you can’t also claim it on the basis of a serious illness.

If you didn’t submit your ISEE information via the DSU in time for previous quarters, you can retrospectively apply. Any overpayments will be automatically offset in the next bill once you submit your DSU certificate.

How much financial help could you receive?

The new discounts from July haven’t yet been published and could change from the values of the second quarter of this year. In this way, the amount of the social bonus is not fixed.

As a rough guide, from April to June, the discounts on electricity bills range from around €46.50 to €65.70 per month.

For gas, homeowners benefit from reductions of anywhere between around €60 to €300 for the three-month period, depending on how many people are in the household and where the property is located.

You can read more about the scheme on Arera’s portal here.

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For members

PROPERTY

Revealed: The most expensive places in Italy to buy a house in 2022

Many factors are at play when deciding where to purchase a home in Italy. To help you decide, here are the most expensive and sought-after locations in Italy, according to the latest data.

Revealed: The most expensive places in Italy to buy a house in 2022

Searching for the right property in Italy involves a balancing act of location, price, convenience and how much, if any, restoration work needs to be done.

Budget usually tops the list for house-hunters, narrowing down the number of potentials for making your move to or within Italy.

If the entire country is your blank slate, here are the areas in Italy that rank as the most expensive – and desired – according to data from property portal Idealista for the first quarter of 2022.

The report ranks the top 100 municipalities according to popularity, based on those listings generating the most leads (email contacts and shares) and those where the average final sale price is highest.

READ ALSO: How bargain homes made one Italian town €100 million in two years

Taking the top spot for the most expensive place to buy in Italy is Pietrasanta in Versilia, in the province of Lucca, which the researchers also state holds first place in the top 100 most expensive places to rent a house too.

This area includes the playground of the rich, Forte dei Marmi, where the average selling price of a house is over half a million euros (€541,351).

The table below shows the full ranking.

In second place is Alassio, in the province of Savona, where homebuyers will on average shell out €467,019 for a residential property (again, valid for the first quarter of 2022).

Venice comes in at third place, where the average asking price is €433,640.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: The hidden costs of buying a home in Italy

In the top 10 spots, the report noted that the most expensive properties are in tourist resorts, possibly driven by those wanting second homes in popular locations.

Such locations include Lerici, Riccione, Desenzano del Garda, Camaiore and Cervia, while the cities of Florence and Milan, where average sale prices exceed €350,000, have also made the top 10.

The study revealed that the final average price of a house for sale in Rome is €273,341.

Researchers also looked at popularity of locations, based on pressure of demand on supply across Italy.

Bologna topped the charts, making it the city with the highest number of contacts per advert (4.7) of houses for sale published on idealista. Cagliari followed in second with 3.8 contacts per advert and Milan (3.4 contacts per advert). Trieste, Naples, Rome, Salerno, Brescia, Verona and Lecce also made the top 10.

READ ALSO: 15 insider tips to make living in Bologna even better

Here’s a selection of the most popular places to buy in Italy based on the report data, narrowed down to the top 20.

See more in The Local’s Italian property section.

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