Differences between the free electricity market and the enhanced protection service

When it comes to electricity and gas supplies, many consumers are faced with a crucial choice: opt for the free market or remain in the enhanced protection service. The free market and the enhanced protection service have distinct requirements and advantages, but it is essential to understand the differences to make an informed decision. Learn more about what distinguishes the free market from the greater protection service, to identify the option best suited to your needs.

What does enhanced protection service mean

The enhanced protection energy service is a supply regime in which tariffs are regulated and set by the Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks, and the Environment (ARERA) at the national level. In this system, users do not have the option to freely choose their energy supplier, but are instead served under enhanced protection at contractual and economic conditions established by ARERA.

The protected market is designed to guarantee consumer protection and ensure stable and transparent tariffs. The tariffs are reviewed periodically by ARERA to take into account fluctuations in the cost of raw materials and market conditions.

However, it should be noted that the transition from the enhanced protection service for electricity is set to begin in July 2024 (deliberation 600/2023) for non-vulnerable domestic customers.

If the end customer does not subscribe to a free market offer, starting from July 2024, the supply will automatically transition, without any interruption, to the Gradual Protection Service (STG); in this service, the contractual and economic conditions will be defined by ARERA, also based on the outcomes of competitive procedures.

Vulnerable customers, on the other hand, will be able to continue to be served under contractual and economic conditions defined and updated by the Authority.

Vulnerable Customers

Vulnerable domestic customers of electricity are considered to be those who fall into one of the following conditions:

  • Are over 75 years of age.
  • Benefit from social bonus for economic hardship (for more details, please refer to our dedicated section on social bonus) under Article 1, paragraph 75, of Law 124/17;
  • Are in serious health conditions requiring the use of medical-therapeutic equipment powered by electricity (or where individuals in such conditions are present);
  • Have disabilities under Article 3 of Law 104/92;
  • Are holders of a supply located in emergency housing;
  • Have a utility on an unconnected minor island;

Vulnerable domestic customers supplied in the enhanced protection service will continue to be served, even after July 1, 2024, in the Enhanced Protection Service.

Differences between free and protected markets

Rates and offers

In the free market, suppliers can propose competitive commercial offers, with locked prices, discounts, personalized packages, and additional services to meet diverse needs. For example, Enel Energia offers two tailored solutions for those transitioning from the regulated market:

  • Formidabile Fine Tutela, the Sempre Con Te offer dedicated to those transitioning from the Enhanced Protection Service with a discounted and locked list price of the energy component (0.19 €/kWh) for 12 months.
  • Enel Flex Mega, the tri-hourly offer that allows you to save during the night and on holidays with a differentiated energy component price based on hourly bands, plus a fixed consumption contribution (α) for the first 12 months from the activation date of the supply, more advantageous at night and on holidays.

For both offers, there is also the payment of the marketing and sales fee, locked for the first 12 months and payable on a monthly basis.

Other expenditure components will be applied as provided by the Regulatory Authority for Energy and the Environment (ARERA). For more information, please refer to the technical-economic conditions of the offer.

Services and flexibility

In the free market, suppliers can offer a range of additional services, such as dedicated customer assistance, mobile apps for monitoring consumption, electronic billing, and flexible payment options.

For example, Enel Energia offers its customers a variety of additional services such as:

  • ENELPREMIA WOW! loyalty program: A loyalty program dedicated to Enel Energia customers that allows you to accumulate WOW! points and try to win numerous prizes and discounts on your bill.
  • Web Bill: A practical and convenient solution for receiving your bills in a smart, sustainable, and free way.
  • Enel Energia App: A tool that allows you to independently manage your supplies and stay updated on new offers.

In the enhanced protection service, the main focus is on the stability of tariffs defined by ARERA, without being able to take advantage of additional services.

Possibility to choose the supplier

In the free market, consumers can switch suppliers at any time without additional costs or service interruptions. This flexibility allows them to constantly seek the best solution on the market and adapt to their needs. For example, Enel Energia has dedicated two solutions for those transitioning from the enhanced protection service: Formidabile Fine Tutela and Enel Flex Mega.

In the enhanced protection service, the locally competent operator is identified by the Authority, and there is no choice available for the consumer.

Power offers

Choose Enel Energia for your home

There are times when we all need more energy, switch to the free market and discover all the advantages of our offers.

CARD WIDTH_1534x1022
If you come from Protected Service
Formidabile Fine Tutela Luce

The "Sempre Con Te" offer with a discount on the list price of the energy component for those coming from the Protected Service

30% discount
Price blocked for the first 12 months!
Power Price
Prezzo originale
0,161 €/kWh *
barrato. Prezzo attuale
0.1127 €/kWh *
al kilowattora
CCV Power Price
12,00 €/Month**

*The price refers to the energy component only (excluding VAT and taxes) and is blocked for the first 12 months. This price includes network losses which are applied as defined, published and updated by ARERA. ** The price refers to the marketing and sales fee (CCV Luce) which, for the first 12 months of supply, will be equal to 144 €/POD/year (excluding VAT and taxes), to be paid on a monthly basis.
The end of the Protected Service for electricity provided for non-vulnerable customers is set for 01/07/24.