Gas bills, Arera: “Down by over 13% for consumption in March”

Expenditure for a typical family of around 1,560 euros from April last year to March this year

The gas bill of protected households is still decreasing. After the decreases recorded for consumption in the months of January (-34.2%) and February (-13%), communicates the Arera, for the typical family under protection there is a decrease of -13.4% in the bill for consumption in March compared to the month of February 2023. The gas price component to cover procurement costs, applied to customers still in the protected market, is updated by Arera as a monthly average of the price on the Italian wholesale market and published within first 2 working days of the month following the reference month. For the month of March, which recorded an even lower average wholesale price than that of February, the price of the gas raw material, for customers with contracts under protected conditions, is equal to 46.58 euro/MWh .

Arera recalls that, as envisaged by the ‘Budget Law’, for the entire first quarter of 2023 (and therefore still for March consumption), the Authority has already zeroed the general system charges for gas and confirmed the negative UG2 component for gas consumption up to 5,000 sm3/year, plus the 5% VAT reduction on gas.

The reduction in the gas bill for the month of March (-13.4%), in terms of final effects, brings gas expenditure for the typical household in the rolling year from April 2022 to March 2023 to around 1,560.7 euros, +0.7% compared to the equivalent 12 months of the previous year from April 2021 to March 2022.

COLDIRECTS – The drop in gas bills, underlines Coldiretti, is an important signal for businesses and families forced to deal with energy costs for too long. “Energy spending has a double negative effect because – underlines Coldiretti, also commenting on the announcement of the 55.3% drop in electricity bills in the second quarter starting from April 1st by Arera – it reduces the purchasing power of citizens and of households, but also increases the costs of businesses which are particularly relevant for the agri-food sector”.

The cost of energy, continues Coldiretti, is in fact reflected throughout the supply chain and concerns both agricultural activities but also food processing and distribution. Agricultural and food production in Italy absorb over 11% of total industrial energy consumption for about 13.3 million tons of oil equivalent per year, according to the analysis by Coldiretti based on Enea data.

NATIONAL CONSUMER UNION – “Well, great news. But the troubles aren’t over.” This was declared by Marco Vignola, head of the energy sector of the national consumer union, commenting on the decrease in the price of gas established by Arera, from 1 March 2023 which drops by 13.4% in the protected market. “In fact, a hidden tax of almost 500 euros hangs like a sword of Damocles. The Government’s decision to restore 65% of system charges in April and 100% starting from July, in fact, an increase in the bill equal to € 459. A very serious choice if we consider that, despite today’s drop and the tax discounts all still in force, the bills remain higher than in normal times”, says Vignola.

According to the Unc study, in fact, if for a typical family in guardianship the -13.4% means spending 162 euros less on an annual basis, the total expenditure in the next twelve months (from 1 March 2023 to 29 February 2024, in the hypothesis of constant prices), while not quantifying the recovery of charges, remains at the considerable figure of 1048 euros, which added to the 641 of the light taken in April, determine an overall blow of 1689 euros.

Furthermore, if the price of gas today drops by 13.4% compared to that of February 2023, compared to the pre-crisis period, i.e. in comparison with March 2021 it is still 6% higher. Compared to the annual expenditure of 2020, the last regular year, equal to 975 euros, now we still pay 73 euros more, +7.5%. If we add the 459 euros that will soon arrive to these figures, the gap becomes lunar, concludes the Unc.