Press release

Electricity: Green light from January 2017 to the Tutela SIMILE, a standard offer governed by the Regulatory Authority, similar to those on the free market

Market solutions for families and small companies, with voluntary adherence, to support the consumer

Milan, July 11, 2016

Italian Flag Italian version

From January 2017 the Tutela Simile standard offer begins for the electricity supply of families and small companies, a new transitory mechanism that enables voluntary adherence, via web, to a supply with a standard contractual structure defined by the Regulatory Authority. With the introduction of the Tutela Simile solution, i.e. 'similar' to supply on the free market (1), the Authority wants to guarantee its small-sized customers currently under Standard offer regime the opportunity to 'trial' a form of offer that is closer to those on the free market, with transparency and simplicity and in the context of a supply monitored by the Authority itself. An instrument to accompany consumers towards supply forms typical of the free market, the only supply method that will remain in force when the Price protection regimes finish, whose end will be decided by the draft law on Competition, in the process of being approved in Parliament, and currently expected during 2018.

Adherence to Tutela Simile, which is possible until the end of Standard offer regime (as will be defined by the draft law on Competition), will be voluntary and this deal may be offered by vendors on the free market 'entitled' to the mechanism, i.e. meeting specific requirements, that are initially verified and monitored three-monthly on their economic and financial strength, integrity and operational strength. They must also have served at least 100 thousand small electricity or gas customers (2), or 50 thousand for electricity only, and a maximum number of customers that the supplier may serve under Tutela Simile is to be defined (3). All consumers currently under Standard offer regime, or those who would be entitled in the event of activating a new supply or switching request, may sign the contract which lasts a year. Customers can access Tutela Simile exclusively via the web portal, which is managed by the Single Buyer as part of the Integrated Information System, which will gather all of the offers in one place, putting the customer in direct contact with the potential vendor without intermediation or distance sale costs. The standard contract which is prepared in compliance with the minimum terms defined by the Regulatory Authority will exclusively cover the supply of electricity, without further services.
The price applied to the customer will be totally comparable with the price of the Standard offer regime, both of which are updated quarterly. The cost savings for customers under Tutela Simile will be related to the presence of a one-off bonus on the first bill, defined by each 'entitled' supplier for each type of customer (families or small business). Standard offer regime is also being reviewed, in order to make it consistent with the role of a universal service that it is intended to fill, that is to say a 'security' service to ensure the continuity of the service. As part of the revision of Standard offer regime amendments will be made procurement price definition methods in order to improve alignment with wholesale prices of the quarter of reference (4).
For customers there will also be the possibility to access Tutela Simile through the intermediation of 'facilitators' with the task of informing and simplifying access to Tutela Simile through the web portal, a role that can be played by consumer Associations or Associations in the small-medium companies sector.

(1) Defined following two consultations; 75/2016/R/eel and 421/2015/R/eel.
(2) Verification is has been made on 30th September 2016. 
(3) The maximum number is initially equal to 500,000 customers.
(4) The revision will be defined with a subsequent measure along with further detailed aspects of Tutela Simile.