Bills, here’s what we pay (in addition to electricity): decommissioning of nuclear power and subsidies for energy-intensive companies

Bills, here’s what we pay (in addition to electricity): decommissioning of nuclear power and subsidies for energy-intensive companies
Bills, here’s what we pay (in addition to electricity): decommissioning of nuclear power and subsidies for energy-intensive companies

From decommissioning nucleare to aid for large companies companies energy-consuming, but also the incentives for renewables. We also pay this in ours electricity bill, to be precise under the heading ‘system charges’, which is added to the expenditure for the ‘matter energy ‘ and a number of others costs, as the Rai license fee. This is why, even if in these days everyone is talking about the effects on the bill of the jump in energy prices and what will happen from October with the updated rates for the last quarter of the year, the quickest way to intervene could be to move elsewhere – on general taxation – the system charges, which have little to do with actual consumption and on which the government already intervened in July to calm the price increases. Also because a request in this sense came directly from the European Commission, which asked to eliminate the items “which are not directly related to energy” from the invoice. But let’s see what are the items (referable to fixed or variable quotas) that make up the bill and that, gradually, have made it increasingly difficult for citizens to read it and, therefore, also for the company to understand how to save. In fact, the vast majority have no idea what they’re paying for.

THE MATTER ENERGY – On the bill, in fact, the expenditure for energy only affects the 44,5% (Arera data, last quarter 2020) in the bill ofdomestic type user in greater protection and it is composed of a fixed quota and an effective quota of energy, which each user pays in proportion to his own consumption. A recent survey conducted by on the rates of free market – therefore applied to those who have already abandoned the greater protection – analyzed the costs for singles, couples and families of four people, estimating that the incidence of actual consumption on the bill does not exceed 37% depending on the type of customer. That relating to energy is the only cost item based on tariffs established at the discretion of the supplier in a competitive way (for both quotas) and, therefore, also the only part that makes the difference between the various electricity tariffs of the free market. This share is affected not only by the price of energy (the actual cost of purchasing the raw material), but also by the network losses (for about 10 per cent), in addition to the so-called ‘dispatching’, that is the cost of the service that guarantees the balance between energy injected into the electricity grids and energy withdrawn from end customers. And then there is the energy equalization price, for energy purchase costs (paid only by customers with a contract in the protected service).

TRANSPORTATION AND METER MANAGEMENT – The other expenses of the bill are all based on rates established by Arera. Starting with the cost of transport and the counter management which, therefore, under the same conditions of use, does not vary according to the suppliers. You pay (20% of the bill under the higher protection regime) i costs for energy transmission and distribution from power plants to our homes, but also the expenses for the management and reading of meters. This item is made up of three elements: the fixed quote, which is independent of its own energy consumption, the quota power, which depends on the power used and the amount of energy applied to the energy consumed.

SYSTEM CHARGES – The most discussed item of the bill is certainly that linked to system charges, which covers the costs related to activities of general interest for the electricity system and which in 2020 is cost consumers 14.9 billion. According to Arera, which establishes the costs every three months, to date these charges represent a slice of the 21.8% of annual expenditure for the typical domestic customer (under greater protection regime). In the bill, consumers find a fixed quota, independent of consumption (which applies only to non-residential homes, with 35% more than the annual expenditure) and a energy quota, applied on the basis of consumption and paid for by everyone, regardless of whether the user is linked to the residence. This means that for a non-resident home user, the burden of system charges on the bill increases considerably, reaching almost 40%. What do you pay for? The expense is made up of the components Asos (for the support of renewable energy and cogeneration) e Arim (the remaining general charges). For the protected market more than 65% of the charges relate to incentives for renewable sources. Among the other burdens there is everything: it dismantling of nuclear power plants, an excise duty for the State Railways, expenses for research and development, the creation of special tariff schemes and expenses due to electric bonus and even the concessions for industries with a high consumption of electricity. In the past, this component has also financed i large company bailouts on the edge of the precipice, like Alitalia e Ilva. With the ‘Jobs and businesses’ decree approved last July, the Draghi government planned to allocate 1.2 billion euros precisely to the reduction of general system costs for the next quarter to contain the effects of the increase. In recent weeks there has been talk of the possibility of transferring the charges for supporting renewables under general taxation (to make all taxpayers pay).

TAXES AND RAI FEE – The taxes are identical for each supplier, also with their weight on the bill (13.3 per cent under the higher protection regime). It is about consumption tax (excise duty), applied to the amount of energy consumed regardless of the contract and value added tax (VAT), applied to the total amount of the bill. Let’s talk about10% VAT in the case of domestic users and 22% in other cases. Since 2017, the payment of the RAI license, tax on the possession of ‘equipment suitable or adaptable to the reception of television radio hearings in Italy’, compulsorily paid by citizens who see it charged on the electricity bill, but only on the home users. I am those over 75 with low income are exempt, foreign diplomats and military and citizens with residential electricity, who do not own television sets. And then there are various and possible, such as any interest charges must, expenses for connection activities of the meter, just to give a few examples.

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