Gas, the criteria for periodic updating of prices established by theArera, the Regulatory Authority for energy, networks and the environment, for the protected market. The dramatic rise in wholesale energy prices, linked to the conflict in Ukraine and the reduction in gas flows from Russia, has led the Authority in recent weeks to introduce measures to protect consumers and guarantee continuity of supplies. The price update will therefore no longer be quarterly and will no longer be communicated at the beginning of each quarter but will be monthly and will be communicated at the end of each month.
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From 1 October, therefore, the method of updating the costs of gas raw materials for households that are still in the conditions of protection changes (today about 7.3 million domestic customers, out of a total of 20.4 million, 35.6 million % approximately). Also to immediately intercept any national and European price containment initiatives, Arera has decided to no longer use forward prices on the wholesale market as a reference, but the average of the actual prices on the Psv wholesale market. Italian, at the same time increasing the frequency of updating the price which becomes monthly, no longer quarterly. The new method, linked to the emergency situation, will be in force until the end of the gas protection, currently scheduled for January 2023, a term that the Authority has requested several times to be aligned with that of the electrical protection purpose, scheduled for January 2024.
The intervention adopted, explains the Energy Authority, even though it cannot structurally act on the exceptional levels of market prices, aims to make supplies to consumers safer. In fact, the persisting geopolitical tensions have exacerbated the uncertainties about the availability of gas from Russia, increasing the criticality for sellers in finding the necessary gas on the wholesale markets to satisfy their customers, including domestic ones, for the next thermal year. from 1 October.
With the mechanism approved by the Authority, the risk that sellers are unable to guarantee their operations and therefore supplies to their customers is reduced, minimizing the danger that families are forced to resort to the services of last resort and the same sellers in the default service, jeopardizing the entire economic equilibrium of the Italian gas sector with additional costs that would be socialized.
Price published every month
With the new update method, the value of the raw material component for gas protection will be published on the Authority’s website at the beginning of each month following the reference month. Therefore, for the October tariffs, the first month of entry into force of the new system, it will take place at the beginning of November.
Specific transparency obligations are introduced for sellers who, in case of need for price recalculations compared to what previously invoiced, must not only give appropriate information in the bill, but also create a specific section on their website to explain, in a clear and understandable way, the reason for the recalculation and the way in which prices are determined.
The Authority has also decided to activate an emergency working table which will see the full involvement of consumer associations, which will have among the first tasks that of defining further forms of communication and information, to make the whole process as transparent and effective. possible.
“Too high prices, an ongoing war and a clear use of gas as a geopolitical lever call us to take extraordinary action, to try to guarantee the defense of the consumer and the security of supply – said the president of the Authority, Stefano Besseghini – Il recourse to a more dynamic price formation mechanism will make it possible not to transfer the costs of hedging the risk to the consumer and instead to immediately transfer to him the advantages deriving from any decisions, such as the gas price ceiling, which may be assumed at the level European”.