Italian energy bills to fall by ten percent after 18 months of price hikes

Electricity and gas bills have been cut by ten percent as of April 1st in Italy, according to the national energy regulator, bringing a reprieve for many households after months of steep increases.

Italian energy bills to fall by ten percent after 18 months of price hikes
Photo by Fred TANNEAU / AFP

After six consecutive quarterly price increases, energy bills are set to go down in Italy: As of Friday, April 1st, consumers will pay 10.2 percent less for electricity and 10 percent less for gas.

The changes were confirmed as Italian energy regulator Arera published its updated tariffs for the new quarter on Thursday.

READ ALSO: Energy prices: How to save money on your bills in Italy

The fall in prices comes as a surprise to many after widespread predictions that another rise was on the way, with the price of natural gas soaring in March due to the impact of the war in Ukraine.

Until two weeks ago, prices had been forecast to rise by up to 20 percent.

Arera attributed the lowered tariffs to “data on price trends” as well as government interventions, including the cancellation of general charges and a VAT reduction on gas.

“In an objectively extraordinary situation, with an ongoing conflict and unprecedented volatility on the energy markets, and in light of the greater responsibility for verification and control attributed to it, the Authority has decided to adopt extraordinary measures in favour of consumers,” stated Arera president Stefano Besseghini.

While lower rates are a positive sign for households and businesses facing record high energy bills, the price drop in April doesn’t compensate for January’s huge increases of 55 percent for electricity and 40 percent for gas, or the series of steep increases before that.

Meanwhile inflation has risen to the highest rate since 1991, at 6.7 percent, according to preliminary estimates from Italian statistics bureau Istat. This is up from 5.7 percent in February.

In addition to billions of euros’ worth in funding from the Italian government aimed at keeping bills under control, Italy will also offer extended discounts on household energy bills to lower-income households under an updated scheme announced last week.

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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.