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Electricity and gas bills: 6 things to know when changing operators

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Bitter start to the year for Italian families who have to deal with the increase in electricity and gas bills for the house, respectively by 55 and 41.8%. From this quarter in fact for consumers on the Protected Market further increases have been triggered which will raise bills for household utilities for the next three months.

But the Italians are running for cover in a certain sense, increasing the requests for information on the change manager. In particular, the transition from the Greater Protection Service to the Free Market can be particularly convenient, and the data demonstrate this: the Italians who in 2021 activated an offer on the Free Market, in 2022 will save 4.8 million euros for electricity bill and € 7.2 million for gas.

In this regard, Selectra, a help service in choosing the supplier of electricity, gas, telephony and internet, has drawn up a vademecum to dispel all related doubts to switching to a new and cheaper supplier.

What to know to change your energy and gas supplier

1 – The change of supplier for the Free Market is free – One of the most common doubts concerns any penalties to be paid in the change of supplier: the passage from the Protected Market to the Free Market is free, as well as the change of supplier within the Free Market. If you want to go back from Libero to Tutelato, it is always possible, but a 16 euro stamp will be charged.

2 – There are no supply interruptions – When switching from one supplier to another there is no need to fear interruptions of electricity or natural gas. There are obviously some technical times for the passage, but there is no risk of being left without services. The operator change takes place on the first day of the month and a final balance bill can be received from the old operator.

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3 – There is no need to replace the meter – The supplier change comes managed electronically: therefore, some technical modifications to the electrical systems or to the electricity and gas meter are not necessary. The electricity and methane gas supplied will in fact remain the same and the sales company will change, not the distribution company.

4 – What changes between the Free Market and the Protected Market – What are the differences between Free Market and Protected Market? First of all, the price of electricity and gas changes. In fact, in the Maggior Tutela market the price is established by the Authority and changes every three months, while in the Free Market the supplier can set his price.
Furthermore, offers on Libero can provide for a fixed price for one or two years, while in the Maggior Tutela market it is not possible to block the price of energy for electricity or the price of raw gas for the gas bill. Unlike the Tutelato, in the Free Market the user can activate both utilities, both electricity and gas, with the same supplier, and manage them comfortably with a single app and a single customer service center. Finally, in Libero it is possible to choose offers that favor supplies from renewable energies.

5 – How to change manager – Change manager to switch to one cheaper rate it is simpler than one might think: the new electricity or gas contract can in fact be signed in a few minutes both by telephone and online, as well as in a point of sale. Once the supply contract has been signed, the new operator chosen will take care of communicating the change to the local distributor and the old supplier.

6 – How to choose the best offer to savee – In this historical moment, the advice is to evaluate an offer on the Free Market at a fixed price for the next 12 months, checking over the course of the year that it is always convenient compared to the market. It should be borne in mind that the offers that provide for bank domiciliation and the web bill are usually cheaper than those with the postal order.

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Government measures against price increases

To limit the impact on families of the increases, it should be noted that the government has put 3.8 billion euros on the plate budget law. The measures envisaged provide for the transitory cancellation of the general system charges in the bill and the enhancement of the social bonus for families in difficulty, making it possible to lighten the impact on 29 million families and 6 million micro-enterprises. But the measures seem insufficient and many parties are asking the Draghi government for a greater effort which will have to translate into a new measure, which is expected shortly.

In this regard, it is lastly pointed out that for medium-large enterprises with power equal to or greater than 16.5 kW, it was decided for the first quarter of 2022 to cancel the general system charges.

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