In a period characterized by the record rise in bills “the advice I would give is to look at the offers on the free market which offers lower rates than the protected market”. This was stated by the president of Enel, Michele Crisostomo, speaking to Made in Italy Summit. A statement that, however, has found an outcry from users and consumer associations. Marco Vignola of the National Consumers Union to Today proposes a simple experiment: “Try going to the official website of the energy regulator, ilportaleofferte.it and test yourself”.
The result – inserting an average consumption of a family equal to 2700 kilowatt hours per year – is an example: the offers lead to savings included in a maximum range of 90 euros per year and on average less than 50 euros. “The free market is a mockery – Vignola stresses – especially now that it is almost impossible to find offers at a fixed price which – given the volatility of the market – would constitute a gamble for the forest of companies that propose themselves as intermediaries, often adding additional services to justify the price markup “.
“Releases such as Crisostomo’s – adds Vignola – underline a false problem: with these prices there is no difference between the free and protected market simply because the market is unable to give answers that can only come from the state. the only “weapon” of consumers against expensive energy is saving while waiting for the supply policies to be changed “.
Also for this reason, the end of the so-called “protected market” set by the current regulations risks postponing to January 1, 2023 for gas and January 10, 2024 for electricity: over 7 million users, more than 36% of the total, still they are not ready for liberalization and are resisting in the protected market with the prices managed by Arera. The next government will decide what to do while more and more citizens and businesses report posting measures taken especially by small operators in the face of unpaid bills.
“Even an unpaid bill is enough to get to the posting” warns Vignola, however, emphasizing what are the legal protections of the formal notice. As can be seen from the regulation of the reference authority of the energy market, gas and electricity supplies cannot be disconnected without notice. “In the event of delayed payments, on the protected market the supplier can ask for interest on arrears (at the ECB rate, 1.25% today) increased by 3.5%. The” formal notice “arrives in the most serious cases, by post registered letter or certified e-mail (pec): indicates a deadline, a precise date, to pay the due and a different one for suspension of the supply. The actual posting can never be performed in any case before 3 working days from the deadline deadline for payment and 40 (calendar) days from notification of formal notice “. Furthermore, for the electricity market, the operator can reduce the available power by 15%.