HOW TO GUIDES

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Electricity


The national electricity company in Italy is ENEL.Consumers are free to choose other electricity providers available in their area.

Standard electricity supply is 220 Volts (V), 50 Hertz (Hz). A variety of plugs are in use including the European-style two-pin plug.

Note: a country’s available voltage is printed on the glass of a light bulb, or the light bulb packet.

Domestic goods purchased in Italy will have a compatible plug attached. Adapters can be bought for appliances with foreign plugs.

The basic electricity contract in Italy is set up to provide approximately 3 to 3.2 kilowatts. If a household expects to run a number of appliances simultaneously and exceed the power available a larger supply (up to 6 kilowatts) can be requested. There is a larger flat rate payment for the supply plus usage charged.

Further power and surge protection can be installed by having an electrician fit a back-up generator and a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply). The work will need to be checked by an ENEL inspector.

To set up a new contract

  • Either call ENEL: 800 900 800 (free from a landline) or 199 50 50 55 (from a mobile), or +39 023 017 2011 from abroad. Operators do not often speak English and getting an Italian speaker to make the call is advised.
  • Or visit the nearest ENEL Electric Service office

The following information will be needed:

  • Identity document (Documento Identità)
  • Client number of the previous tenant (Numero Cliente), if applicable
  • Tax number(Codice Fiscale) of the account holder if it is being set up by a private person, or partita iva if it is a company
  • Amount of power required (3 KW, 4 KW or 6 KW)
  • Current meter reading(lettura del contatore)
  • Bank details, if payment is to be by direct debit from a bank
  • Address to which the bills should be sent
  • Address to which the contract should be sent

Meter-reading, bill paying and disconnection

Italy operates a “two-tier pricing” system. Old electricity meters being replaced with ‘smart’ electronic meters that calculate the consumption at different times of the day. Electricity costs will vary depending on the time of use and will cost more Monday to Friday, from 08:00-19:00. The cost is less at weekends.

Two-tier pricing also applies to residents and non-residents resulting in those not living in Italy on a full time basis paying more for their electricity.

  • More information is available from The Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity Gas and Water (PDF)

ENEL sends out an estimated electricity bill (bollette) every two months. The meters are read twice a year and adjusted bills sent out. The bill will show the account number (numero utente), the amount due (importo) and the date it should be paid (scadenza).

Most homes are now furnished with an electronic remote counter which enables ENEL to measure the usage remotely. It also means that electricity supply can be disconnected remotely when an overdue bill remains unpaid. Before complete disconnection, the amount of electricity supplied is reduced for a period to encourage payment before complete disconnection. During this reduced power period, the supply trips out when larger appliances are used. There is a reconnection fee to re-establish normal supply after a bill is paid and this is added to the next bill.

It is suggested that temporary residents pay their bills with a direct debit via a local bank account to avoid arriving and finding their power supply cut-off or on reduced power.

  • Accounts can be managed through the ENEL website with a code and a password.
  • It is also possible to register for E-billing via the ENEL website. The bill is sent to a registered email address.

Alternative electricity providers available in some regions or cities include:

  • A2A ENERGIA. Visit the A2A Energia website for a list of regional customer service numbers. http://www.a2aenergia.eu/area_clienti/contatti_a2a_energia/index.html
  • ACEA ENERGIA Tel: 800 130 33
  • EDISON ENERGIA Tel:800 031 141
  • ENI Tel: 800 900 700
  • EON ENERGIA Tel: 800 999 777
  • GDF SUEZ Tel: 800 422 422 (09:00-18:00 Monday-Friday for an English speaking consultant)
  • HERA COMM Tel: 800 999 500
  • ILLUMIA Tel: 800 808 880