After days of waiting and indiscretions, the government has decided what measures will be to limit the maxi increases in electricity and gas bills. The cabinet approved the decree worth over three billion, which, as previously announced by Prime Minister Mario Draghi, provides for the (temporary) cut of some system charges and the expansion of the number of families benefiting from bonuses.
The measures: the bonus and the drop in VAT
The measures are divided as follows: two billion are intended to cut general system costs, 450 million are the resources for social bonus for weaker families. L’VAT on gas supplies for civil and industrial uses will be lowered to 5 percent. The loss of income partially offset by the use of a part, equal to 700 million, of the proceeds from the auctions of CO2 emissions quotas. In addition, the transfer to the Cash for energy and environmental services, by 15 December 2021, of additional resources equal to 500 million o and the cancellation of the rates relating to general system charges applied to domestic users and non-domestic low voltage users, for other uses, with available power up to 16, 5 kW. To this end, additional resources of € 800 million are transferred to the Energy and Environmental Services Fund by 15 December 2021.
Increases eliminated for 3 million people
The Council of Ministers – he writes Palazzo Chigi – approved a decree law to contain the effects of price increases in the electricity and gas sector in the fourth quarter of 2021. The new measures are aimed at the benefit of the more than 3 million people who benefit from the energy bonus: households that have a lower Isee to 8,265 euros per year; large families (Isee 20,000 euros per year with at least 4 children); income earners or citizenship pension; users in serious health conditions. For them, the effects of the future increase in the bill tend to be eliminated, explains Palazzo Chigi. For about 6 million very small and small businesses with low voltage users for 26 million domestic users up to 16.5 kw, the rates relating to general system charges will be zeroed. As for gas for about 2.5 million people who benefit from “Gas social bonus” the effects of the expected increase in the bill tend to be eliminated. For all other users, the VAT is now expected to be 10 and 22% depending on consumption, raised to 5%.
The intervention follows the 1.2 billion one that took place at the end of June to limit also on that occasion a double increase in bills for the third quarter, but then the government had taken the field in the last possible days, while this time it took action one week earlier than the deadline of September 30th, the day on which the ARERA Authority must establish the new tariffs that come into effect on October 1st and are valid until December 31st.
The risk increased by 40%
In the absence of government intervention – said the prime minister, Mario Draghi during the work of the national assembly of Confindustria – in the next quarter the price of electricity could rise by 40 percent and that of gas by 30 percent, confirming what the Minister for Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani had said ten days ago, giving for the first time the measure of what the increase in the price of energy goods and in particular gas could mean for the pockets of Italians. For this reason – added Draghi – we have decided to eliminate for the last quarter of the year the gas system charges for everyone, and those of electricity for families and small businesses. The government is busy drawing long-term strategies to reduce our vulnerabilities.
Energy, Draghi: We need European structural action
For the problem of the cost of energy Draghi hopes for an approach on a European basis, as happened with the purchase of vaccines against Covid. More structural action is also needed at European level – said the President of the Council of Ministers – to diversify energy sources and strengthen bargaining power of the buyer countries. This hypothesis was advanced by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in the last Athens summit, in which he said “that all in all we have shown that we have power as buyers in the story of vaccines and after the initial uncertainties, things went very well. Why don’t we think of doing something of this type on the supply front of natural gas, for example, or of other raw materials? ”. an idea which I find very interesting and which we will explore with the Commission.