The liberalization of the energy market is a gradual process that will end in 2024, also involving domestic supplies. Currently, domestic consumers can choose to remain in the protected market, where the tariffs are established by the Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and the Environment (ARERA), or to move to the free market, for which individual suppliers propose the tariffs. From January 2024 for gas and from July 2024 for electricity, the economic conditions relating to  Gas protection service and greater electricity protection will no longer be applicable for non-vulnerable domestic customers.

When will the mandatory transition to the free market take place?

For non-vulnerable customers, the end of the gas protection and greater electricity protection service is set at:

  • 1 January 2024 for gas (ARERA resolution 100/2023);
  • 1 July 2024 for power (ARERA resolution 600/2023).

End of the protected electricity market

As regards micro-businesses, the Greater Protection Service for electricity ended in April 2023, while for small businesses it had already ended in 2021. For non-vulnerable domestic customers, the Greater protection service will end on 1 July 2024.

To facilitate the transition of non-vulnerable domestic customers towards the free electricity market, ARERA has envisaged a gradual path.  These customers will receive at least two communications from the company that manages the Enhanced Protection Service. These communications will highlight the possibility of choosing a power offer in the free market, and tools will be provided, such as the Offer Portal, to facilitate this choice.

If an end customer does not sign an offer in the free market by 30 June 2023,  from 1 July 2024 your supply will automatically switch to the Gradual Protection Service (STG). In this service, the contractual and economic conditions will be established by ARERA, also based on the results of competitive procedures held to identify the operators of the service.

In essence, this gradual transition aims to ensure that non-vulnerable domestic consumers can choose the free market offer best suited to their needs and that electricity supply continues without interruption.

End of the gas protection service

As regards natural gas, the end of the Protection Service is scheduled for 31 December 2023. To facilitate this transition, the Authority has established a gradual path for residential customers, such as families and condominiums, in order to allow them to choose the free market gas offer that best suits their needs. 

In September 2023, families and condominiums served in the Gas Protection area will receive a specific communication from their supplier, which will highlight the possibility of subscribing to the most convenient free market offer, among those available in the catalogue.

From 1 January 2024, new contractual and economic conditions relating to the offer will automatically be applied to the customer who does not choose one of the offers on the free market, with his own or with a different supplier. Placet for non-vulnerable customers, which will be valid for 12 months.

The customer will always have the possibility to choose another offer in the free market at any time.

Who are the vulnerable customers?

Domestic customers who:

  • are considered vulnerable customers for natural gas;
  • are in economically disadvantaged conditions (for example bonus recipients;
  • are subjects with disabilities pursuant to article 3 of law 104/92;
  • have a user in an emergency housing facility following calamitous events;
  • are over the age of 75.

Domestic customers are consideredvulnerable customers for electricity who:

  • are in economically disadvantaged conditions (for example bonus recipients);
  • are in serious health conditions that require the use of medical-therapeutic equipment powered by electricity (or where people in such conditions are present);
  • are subjects with disabilities pursuant to article 3 of law 104/92;
  • have a user in an emergency housing facility following calamitous events;
  • they have a user on a smaller, non-interconnected island;
  • are over the age of 75.

The customer currently served in the enhanced protection service, who meets the vulnerability criteria but has not been directly identified as such, will have to inform his supplier by completing the substitute declaration attached to the information included in the bill starting from September 2023.

This declaration is necessary to continue to be served in the enhanced protection service.

However, it is important to underline that even a vulnerable customer has the right to choose a free market power or gas offer at any time, following the methods and times established by the supplier as part of the selected offer and in compliance with current regulations.

For more information you can consult our article on Vulnerability gas protection service

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.