SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

ENERGY

At a glance: What does Italy’s new energy aid package mean for you?

Italy’s government has confirmed further financial aid to help households and businesses cope with soaring energy bills. Here’s a breakdown of the main measures.

Boiler knob
Italy’s government has confirmed a new round of financial aid measures to help households and businesses cope with soaring energy bills. Photo by Ina FASSBENDER / AFP

Much like the rest of Europe, Italy has been hit by record energy prices over the past few months and gas and electricity tariffs are only expected to rise further in the coming months. 

On Thursday, the government announced a new round of financial aid to support struggling families and businesses.

READ ALSO: How Italy has avoided a huge hike in gas prices – for now

The latest aid package, worth 9.1 billion euros, is the fourth aid bill (decreto aiuti) issued since the start of the energy crisis. It comes after Mario Draghi’s cabinet brought in three such bills which amounted to a total of 61.2 billion euros in state aid. 

Here are the most relevant measures included in the new package.

Subsidies for low-income families

Italian households with an annual income – this is calculated as ISEE (Equivalent Financial Position Indicator) – of up to 12,000 euros or up to 20,000 euros in the case of families with four or more members will continue to benefit from discounts on their gas and electricity bills (‘bonus gas e luce’) until the end of the year.

READ ALSO: Italy’s energy giant reports huge profit as more price hikes expected

The size of the discounts, which are applied directly to bills, varies based on the geographic location, type of energy contract and family size of the claimant.

Find further information on Italian energy regulator Arera’s website.

Tax credit for businesses

Businesses across the country will remain eligible to receive tax credit (credito d’imposta) equal to as much as 40 percent of their energy-related expenses. 

First introduced under Draghi’s government, the above measure was meant to expire on November 30th but has now been extended to the end of the year.

The criteria regulating who can claim the bonus and how much they can claim are available here on the Italian tax agency’s website. Details on how to claim the bonus can be found here.

Radiator

Families will be able to claim discounts on gas and electricity bills until the end of the year. Photo by Jean-Christophe VERHAEGEN / AFP

Paying bills in instalments 

Under the new decreto, businesses across the country will be able to pay gas and electricity bills received between October 1st, 2022 and March 31st, 2023 in instalments, with a maximum of 36 monthly instalments allowed.

The option to pay via instalments will be revoked if a business fails to pay two consecutive instalments.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How much are energy prices rising in Italy this autumn? 

Fuel duties

Despite a recent decrease in fuel prices across the country, the existing discounts on fuel duties – 30.5 cents on every litre of petrol or diesel and around 10.4 cents for methane – will remain in place until December 31st.

So far, around 8 billion euros have been allocated to cutting fuel prices in Italy. 

Cost of living bonus scrapped

The government has ultimately scrapped the idea of offering another one-time 150-euro bonus for all residents with an ISEE of up to €20,000 a year – the first round of such bonuses had been offered by Draghi’s cabinet as part of the third decreto aiuti back in October.

Cash payment limit increased

As promised, Meloni’s government has raised the legal limit for cash transactions.

While ministers originally proposed bringing the cash payment ceiling up from the current 2,000 euros to 10,000 euros, the new aid package sets the threshold at 5,000 euros.

READ ALSO: Italian government seeks to raise cash payment limit ‘to help the poor’

The measure has attracted criticism as critics believe it will encourage widespread tax evasion and money laundering – two problems that have long dogged the Italian economy.

Superbonus 110

The discount on construction works afforded by Italy’s much-discussed building bonus will go from 110 percent to 90 percent in 2023.

Builder taking a break

The discount on home construction works afforded by Italy’s building superbonus will go from 110 percent to 90 percent in 2023. Photo by Valentine CHAPUIS / AFP

However, while the bonus was originally meant to lapse for one-household properties (‘immobili unifamiliari’) at the end of 2022, the owners of such properties will still be able to claim the discount in 2023 as long as the property in question is their first home and their ISEE doesn’t exceed 15,000 euros a year (the threshold is expected to change depending on the size of the claimant’s family).

Extraction of natural gas 

The latest aid package will allow the government to grant licences for the construction of new drilling stations between nine and 12 nautical miles off the Italian coast

The measure is part of a wider attempt to diversify the country’s energy portfolio and wean Italy off Russian gas supplies altogether.

Member comments

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

UK AND ITALY

Can British people in Italy claim the UK’s winter fuel payment?

In the UK, there are various benefits available to help eligible people through the cold winter months – one of which is the winter fuel payment. But can Britons living in Italy really claim this benefit to cover the cost of heating their Italian homes?

Can British people in Italy claim the UK’s winter fuel payment?

Average winter temperatures vary across Italy, but those who move here after only experiencing scorching summers are often surprised to discover just how cold the country can get.

Even the hardiest of arrivals from colder climes will no doubt have to switch on the radiators or fire up the woodburner between November and February – despite the surging costs.

READ ALSO: Not just gas: How the cost of heating has soared in Italy

As the cost of living crisis bites, some UK nationals who reside in Italy may wonder if they could still be eligible for winter fuel financial support from the UK.

What is the UK’s winter fuel payment?

The UK’s winter fuel payment is a tax-free payment to help older people with heating costs during the cold winter months.

Those eligible must have been born before September 26th 1956, according to the UK government’s website.

How much people receive depends on their age and whether anyone else in the household is also eligible, but the amount is usually between £250 and £600.

I’m a UK national living in Italy. Can I claim the winter fuel payment?

Yes, if you meet the following criteria according to the British government’s website:

“If you do not live in the UK, you’re only eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment if:

  • you moved to an eligible country before 1 January 2021
  • you were born before 26 September 1956
  • you have a genuine and sufficient link to the UK – this can include having lived or worked in the UK, and having family in the UK”

Unlike Spain and France, which the British government has deemed to be too warm on average, Italy is on the list of eligible countries along with Austria, Germany, Sweden, and others.

Find out how to claim the fuel payment on the UK government’s website here.

According to the UK government, during winter the average temperature is between 2 and 7 degrees Celsius in the UK.

READ ALSO: At what time of day is electricity cheapest in Italy?

The Italian government divides the country into six ‘climate zones’ which determine when and for how long residents should have their heating switched on each winter.

According to the government’s classification, the coldest parts of the country are the northern provinces of Cuneo, Trento, and Belluno, where no heating restrictions apply.

SHOW COMMENTS