Electricity prices are set to climb once again as the average Italian household’s bill is expected to rise by 59 percent in the coming months, said Italian power regulator Arera (Authority for the Regulation of Energy Networks and Environment) this week.
Arera said the gravity of the current energy crisis forced them to adopt “extraordinary measures” in order to stave off a 100-percent increase in the price of electricity bills.
Despite these efforts, they added, electricity bills are set to rise by 59 percent on average in autumn.
Massimo Ricci, Arera’s energy department director described the rise as “unprecedented”.
The regulator also said that, by the end of 2022, the average Italian family will likely have spent a total of €1,322 on electricity bills alone. For the sake of context, the average family’s expenditure on electricity bills sat at €632 euros last year.
As for gas bills, Arera said that, due to the “introduction of a new calculation method”, new estimates on gas prices would only be published at the start of November.
Gas bills in Italy have risen by 93 percent over the past two years and the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine together with the damage recently suffered by Nord Stream pipelines “threaten to make bills skyrocket,” said consumer group Assoutenti.
In an attempt to mitigate the ‘sting’ of soaring bills and protect people’s purchasing power, the Italian government has already passed a number of aid measures, with a further aid package, the decreto aiuti ter (third aid decree), currently being on ministers’ table.
According to the latest available indications, the new package should include additional help for businesses – mostly in the form of tax credit – and a one-time €150 bonus (financial incentive) for workers and pensioners with annual earnings lower than 20,000 euros.
Outgoing PM Mario Draghi is also currently working to bring about an EU-wide cap on gas prices.
Through an official note released on Wednesday, Draghi said that the present energy crisis called for a joint response from the EU, one that would allow countries to “reduce costs for families and businesses and avoid exceptional profits from production companies”.
Soon-to-be new Italian prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, echoed Draghi’s words stating that “no EU member state could come up with effective long-term solutions on their own” and that “a common strategy” was needed.
As talks over a European price cap continue in Brussels, the outgoing Italian government is also following up on its plans to get the country ready for the upcoming winter season.
On Wednesday, outgoing Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani said Italy had filled up 90 percent of its gas stocks and had now greater flexibility with respect to potential “spikes in winter consumption”.