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15 anni

Energy scenario

Almost 20 years have passed since 1996, when the first European Union directives began to push deregulation in the electricity and gas sectors, which had traditionally been monopolistic (European Directive 98/30/EC of 22/6/98: concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas, transposed by Italian Legislative Decree no. 164 of 23/5/00 - Letta Decree). These measures gradually opened up and harmonised Europe’s domestic energy market, guaranteeing equal access to infrastructure, transparency and consumer protection along with lively competition, which for European citizens translated into more efficient services and more advantageous pricing. Indeed, consumers, be they businesses or private parties, are now free to choose their own suppliers. This happened for residential customers in the gas market as of 1 January 2003 and in the electricity market as of 1 July 2007. In Italy, in parallel with the free market, residential customers are still able to choose consumer protection services with pricing and supply conditions established by the Authority for Electricity, Gas and Water (AEEGSI).

The Authority (AEEGSI) is currently evaluating the timing for the completion of the market deregulation process, which will entail the complete elimination of protected rates. According to the proposals currently under discussion, the protected market will most likely be fully phased out in 2018.

The Italian Authority for Energy and Gas (AEEG) was established in Italy in 1995. After it was given responsibility for the water service as well in 2011, it became the AEEGSI. It is an independent, autonomous and collegial body designed to harmoniously govern the sector deregulation process while favouring conditions of effective competition amongst the various operators present in the market, supervising the rates system, verifying the quality, efficiency and environmental sustainability of the services provided and, especially, consolidating the role and power of consumers by defining, promoting and protecting their rights.

Therefore, in the wake of the energy market deregulation to favour free competition, in each area distribution is entrusted under concession to a single operator (the ‘Distributor’), while energy is sold to end customers by a range of parties (sales companies), which have increased considerably in recent years and are capable of offering consumers different pricing options.

Based on this model, the distribution and sale of gas and electricity are distinct activities, and sales companies and distribution companies operate in the energy market separately with different objectives and responsibilities.

 
 


Page updated 01 July 2016

 
 
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