But what could be the real benefit of all this for Italian families? Facile.it has estimated the impact of the intervention on one average family finding that the funds, if concentrated in the first quarter of 2022 e on electricity alone, they could help to calm the cost of the bill by just under 10 euros per month, for a total of around 28 euros in the quarter.
“In the absence of precise indications on how the 2 billion euros will be allocated, it is difficult to make precise predictions on what the real impact on consumers’ pockets will be” – he explains Mario Rasimelli, Managing Director Utilities of Facile.it – ”but looking at the recent past it is possible to make some considerations”.
What could happen in 2022
The measures introduced at the beginning of October by the Government, which intervened to try to counter the increases in bills by eliminating system charges for the current quarter and reducing the VAT on gas supplies, will last until 31 December 2021. From 1 January 2022, therefore, in the absence of further specific actions, the Italians will return to burden the bills system charges, to which the potential increase in the cost of raw materials will be added, with the risk of an even heavier sting than in 2021.
“In this sense, therefore, it is possible to hypothesize that i two billion euros allocated for 2022 in the Draft Budgetary Plan can be used to reduce general charges again, at least in part. As done in October 2021, when the Government allocated 2 billion euros to zero out this expense item from the fourth quarter electricity bill, it would be possible to extend the concession also to the first 3 months of 2022 “, explains Rasimelli. .
If so, according to the simulations, this would avoid the burden and would bring a benefit of approx 28 euro a family in the first quarter of 2022. The estimate is based on the hypothesis that the resources will be entirely allocated to the elimination of the general charges of the electricity bill in the first 3 months of 2022, but if they were divided between electricity and gas bills, it is possible to assume that the overall benefit for each family does not change.
The weight of the bills
However, intervention is difficult will reduce the burden of bills; more likely it will serve to mitigate, at least partially, the new increases that are expected in the first part of next year. Market data and forecasts seem to agree on the fact that, even for the first months of 2022, the prices of raw materials will remain high, with an impact on the cost of bills.
ARERA itself found that the current prices of natural gas for the first quarter of 2022 (essential for understanding the trend in the cost of energy) are about double those used for the last update and this could lead, in the next year, to a further and significant increase in prices for customers in the protected market, as happened in the fourth quarter of 2021.
It is important to remember that these tariff increases are triggered automatically only for customers who have an energy supply in the protected market while, in the free market, only customers who have subscribed to a variable rate offer could undergo variations.
“Switching to the free market and opting for a fixed rate, thus blocking the energy price of our bill, could be, at this stage, an effective strategy to counter the increases” – concludes Rasimelli – “according to the simulations of Facile.it, looking at at the best rates available on the free market today you can save up to 37% on electricity and up to 15% on gas “