Guide to reading energy bills

To date there is still too much difficulty in the free market (and also in the market enhanced protection) to understand and analyze the cheapest electricity bill. To help consumers, simplicity should be a must but it is not.

Despite this, more than 3.7 million households (an increase of almost 70% over the previous period) and one out of three chose a manager of the new market. The confusion about charges, fees, costs of energy and dispatch shows no sign of decrease due to substantial difficulties in representation of the "numbers": the items in the bill are different from vendor to vendor with the result that it becomes almost impossible to compare two energy accounts. Customers should be able to verify the fact subscribed economic conditions and check the convenience of its bid, by comparison with those of other suppliers.

The bills should contain useful information, presented in a simple and intuitive while it is the opposite way around. To date an electricity bill lists (or should be listed), fixed costs and variable costs, the price of energy (PE) at a price of dispatching (PD and DISPBT), system charges and taxes. Of all the cost items, the main test for the convenience of an offer is the EP, however, is expressed in various forms (including or excluding network losses or even misspelled as PE + PD), making the comparison meaningless. Are also shown on unspecified charges and taxes, which instead would require a greater explanation of the intrinsic variables. In fact, 25% of the electricity bill is made up of generic components levies and taxes.

Looking at the details, few know that the state charges in the electricity bill various items of expenditure which, perhaps more consistent, should be linked to general taxation. 

To date, the bills have this structure: many acronyms are unknown but cover significant amounts, about 5 billion annually. The A3 is the most important component and has the aim to support the development of renewable weighs 3 billion and 200 million more than 1 billion for the CIP6 assimilated with which it finances the energy produced by burning waste oil (a ' nonsense that has nothing to do with renewable energy).

A cost in the pockets of Italians really too expensive if you think that Terna (the SPA of the Enel Group, which manages the network) has received requests of connects on renewable sources (mostly solar) to 120 thousand megawatts and, to date, the consumption is 56,000 megawatts. The data does not confirm that a clear symptom also emerged in the last financial correction: the incentive is too high.

In addition to the "green" component there is also space the A2 connected to nuclear power to support the charges related to decommissioning (over 500 million per year) the A4 component which subsidizes the electricity tariff to the state railways (about 400 million per year), the A5 component intended for research funding system (only 60 million for the purpose more useful) and, as a last resort, the A6 component designed to reimburse the companies of "damage suffered by the liberalization", nearly two billion we have given almost exclusively to 'Enel.

On these issues of transparency, the Authority intervened and from January 2011, companies will be forced to make more order in the bills of consumers. First bill that will be introduced in both sites of the operators a dictionary that explains the meaning of each item, because dispatching system charges and terms are not within the reach of everyone's daily. The new bills will be a part of a synthetic detail: the first will be summarized the characteristics of their supply contract, the summary of consumption, cost and deadline of payment with numbers for complaints and failures. In the focus of retail space will find a new breakdown of expenditure between liberalized marketing services and network services whose price is determined by the Authority.

It will be mandatory highlight all the cost components in order to understand what charges are downloaded in the bill (like all the components A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5 set out above) and check the correct application of tariffs. They will also be including all information to submit claims and delayed payments, improving the quality of care and reduce the inconvenience by inefficiency.

Another very important feature concerns the detailed explanation of the sources used for the production of electricity and the type of equipment used: you can extrapolate if your energy comes from hydropower, coal, fuel oil or gas.

The companies were unable to (or unwilling) to clarify in a very complex area, which pays the price of a late liberalization. The chaos is evident, and new information (for now praised as the most clear and comprehensive) should empower families and on the theme of energy saving on clean energy that, to date, have cost too much also because of a failure to provide information on how taxpayers' money is used.





Translated via software



Italian version of

Seguici su Facebook