If you’ve received a phone call from a call centre about your electricity or gas supplies recently, you will be completely confused as to what is the ‘mercato libero’ and what is ‘maggiore tutela’.  The callers are aggressive and tell you that they don’t want you to change supplier, but they’re offering information.

‘Shortly the tutored market will end and you can’t afford to waste time’ is one of the gambits – but the market ends on 1 July 2019, and may be prorogued again.

Another is – ‘if you dont choose your supplier one will be chosen for you’.   Not true … at least at the moment.

‘We have learned that you have high consumption’ – the energy authority cannot give this information to anyone.

So what do you need to know?  Firstly,  the cost of the electricity is now only 40% of a 100 euro utility bill.  Therefore 60 euros will be untouched even if you change supplier.  This 60 euros takes in moving the leccy/gas around and giving huge subsidies to large companies.   So, any discount is only going to be on the actual electricity /gas used, not on the whole bill.

By the end of this year there will be a website where you can compare all the offers from all the providers

The mercato libero gives you the option to choose any supplier at the most competitive rate , but obviously the rates can change  – like a variable mortgage.   The maggiore tutela works within a fixed 3 month price frame, which will not go up or down significantly – more of a fixed rate .

The new mercato libero contracts tend to work only on direct debit from a bank account – not good for many nonresidents – can’t be changed at will, and, a nasty surprise, come with a ‘conguaglio’ – ie if you use more gas/electricity that you contracted for, you’ll get a hefty bill down the line.

For most people with a holiday home, the difference in your bill will be minimal – and the possibility to pay via credit card or bolletta is important for many.   Anyway you still have time to decide, so when you get the phone calls just hang up.