Gas bill in the protected market, growing again in April: +22.4%

Although the average wholesale methane price is down slightly, the cost has started to grow again due to the reduction in the Ug2 discount component, used in the last year for the benefit of consumers to offset the increases

After 3 months of reductions, the gas bill on the protected market is growing again and for consumption in April there is a +22.4% compared to March. The increase, despite the slight decrease in the average wholesale methane price last month, is mainly due to the reduction, envisaged by the recent bill decree, of the Ug2 discount component, used in the last year for the benefit of consumers to compensate for the increases. This was reported in a press release by Arera, the public regulatory authority for energy, networks and the environment.

Increases in gas bills

The protected market concerns about a third of users. The others are on the free market, where tariffs are set by competing operators. The gas tariff for the protected market is set monthly by Arera, on the first 2 working days of each month, and concerns the previous month. At the base is the monthly average price of methane on the Italian wholesale market, the PSV. The month of April recorded an average wholesale price of methane slightly lower than that of the month of March, equal to 44.83 euros per megawatt hour. The increase in the gas tariff in April on the protected market is due to the increase in general charges for the part linked to the UG2, +29.5%, slightly dampened by a slight drop in expenditure for natural gas (-3 .1%) and a drop in the tariff linked to transport and metering expenses (-4.0%). This determines the final +22.4%. Even in the face of this increase in the April bill, gas expenditure for the typical household in the rolling year (May 2022-April 2023) is 1532.49 euros, recording a -3.9% compared to the equivalent 12 months of the previous year (May 2021-April 2022). The bills decree 34 of 2023 for the 2nd quarter of 2023 provided for the reduction of VAT to 5% for gas and eliminated the remaining general system charges. However, in consideration of the constant reduction in wholesale gas prices, the negative rates of the UG2 tariff component, applied to consumption brackets up to 5,000 cubic meters per year, were instead confirmed to a lesser extent, equal to 35% of the value applied in the first quarter of 2023.

The president of Arera: “Towards a return to normality”

The April increase on the protected market “will probably be perceived less, because it arrives in the period of the year in which the heating is now off and household gas consumption tends to be minimal”, explained Stefano Besseghini, president of Arera. ” We must bear in mind that we have taken the path of a return to normality, in which the energy system is called to balance without recourse to state finances to deal with the crisis”, concluded Besseghini.