Discover the Acea Group online 2019 Consolidated Report

Transport service tariffs overview

2019 was the fourth year of the new regulatory period, the term of which has been increased from four to eight years (2016-2023) divided into two sub-periods: the first four with method continuity, the method for the others to be subsequently implemented.

"Integrated Text of dispositions of the Authority for supplying electricity transmission and distribution services (TIT)", Annex A to resolution 654/2015/R/eel, the "Integrated Text of dispositions of the Authority for the supply of the electricity metering service (TIME)"; Annex B to resolution 654/2015/R/eel, and the "Integrated Text on dispositions of the Authority for the economic conditions for supplying connection services (TIC)", Annex C to resolution 654/2015/R/eel, published on 23 December 2015.

For the distribution service, ARERA confirmed unbundling of the tariff applied to end customers (the so-called compulsory tariff) from the reference tariff for determination of the restriction on revenue permitted to each company (the reference tariff). The compulsory tariffs for the year 2019 were published with resolution 671/2018/R/eel on 18 December 2018.

The rules in force in the new regulatory period include:

1. Regulatory lag and return on invested capital;
2. Extension of regulatory useful life;
3. Tariff adjustment criteria: cost coverage, measurement.

With regard to the first point, the ARERA has changed the manner for offsetting the regulatory lag, recognising new investments made both for Distribution and for measurement (no retroactivity).

The criterion based on the increase in the investment rate of return granted to new investments, equal to 1% (year t-2), has been replaced by recognition in the capital base (RAB) also of the investments made in year t-1, evaluated on the basis of pre-final data communicated to ARERA. These data will be used for the determination of the provisional tariffs of reference published by 31 March and then replaced by the final data for the determination of the definitive tariffs of reference published by February of the following year. On 5 March 2019, the ARERA published the definitive reference tariff for the electricity distribution service for the year 2018 with resolution 76/2019/R/eel.

On 2 April 2019, the ARERA published the provisional reference tariff for the electricity distribution service for the year 2019 with resolution 117/2019/R/eel. In the year t, the ARERA only recognises the remuneration of the invested capital concerning the assets which entered use in the year t-1, without recognising the relevant amortisation rates (which are still recognised in the year t-2).

With reference to depreciation recognised in the tariff, the new regulation increases the useful regulatory life of certain assets, such as HV electric lines (increased from 40 to 45 years), MV and LV lines and "end users' connection points" (from 30 to 35 years).

With resolution 639/2018/R/COM of 6 December 2018, ARERA updated the values of the parameters used to calculate the rate of return on net invested capital (WACC) for the three-year period 2019-2021, establishing a value of 5.9% for the distribution service.

In terms of operating costs, the new company-based tariff covers the specific costs by means of a national average cost adjustment coefficient, calculated by the ARERA on the basis of actual company costs and on the basis of scale variables.

These costs, when calculating the company-based tariff, according to the definitions of Resolution No. 654/2015, are supplemented by flat rate connection contributions acknowledged throughout Italy, and will be considered as other grants and no longer deducted from operating costs.

Furthermore, the flat rate connection contributions of each company are deducted directly from the invested capital considering them as equal to MV/LV assets.


Updating of the distribution reference tariff after the first year is individual and based on financial increases reported by the companies on the RAB databases. The updating criterion envisages that:

• the part of the tariff hedging the operating costs be updated using the price-cap mechanism (with the goal of a 1.9% recovery of productivity);

• the part hedging the costs concerning the remuneration of the invested capital be updated through the deflator of the fixed gross investments, the change in the volume of service provided, the gross investments that are operational and differentiated by level of voltage and rate of change connected to the increased remuneration recognised for incentivised investments;

• the part hedging the amortisations be updated through the deflator of the fixed gross investments, the change in volume of service provided, the rate of change connected to the reduction in the gross invested capital due to disposal, withdrawal and end of useful lifetime and the rate of change connected to the investments that are now operational.

With the consultation documents 318/2019 and 481/2019 published respectively on 23 July and 22 November 2019, ARERA revised the criteria for the infra-period update of the regulation on transmission, distribution and measurement.

In particular, guidelines are given for updating the methods for determining the cost recognised to cover operating costs and for refining certain aspects of infrastructure regulation for transmission service.

With regard to this document, on 30 September 2019 the detailed data requested by ARERA concerning the costs of the 2016-2018 Unbundling Financial Statements were provided in order to redetermine the level of Opex for the next regulatory period.

The ARERA confirms for 2019 the mechanism, already introduced in the third regulatory period, for the higher remuneration of certain categories of investments made until 2015, not extending this mechanism also for the 2016-2023 cycle.

As regards marketing activities, the ARERA introduces a single reference tariff that reflects both the costs for managing the network service and marketing costs, with recognition of the specific capital costs also for investments in marketing activities (single all-inclusive company tariff for the distribution and marketing service).

With regard to the transmission tariff, the ARERA confirmed the introduction of a binomial tariff (capacity and consumption) for high voltage customers, and the cost tariff structure for the transmission service to Terna (CTR), also introducing a binomial price. Given the two tariffs, the equalisation mechanism has been confirmed.

The general equalisation mechanisms for distribution costs and revenue for the regulatory cycle in force are:

• equalisation of the revenues from the distribution service;

• equalisation of metering revenues;

• equalisation of the transmission costs;

• equalisation of the value of the difference between effective losses and standard losses.

The purpose of equalising the revenues of the distribution service is to equalise the revenues deriving from the comparison between the revenues billed to users through the compulsory tariff and the distributor's allowed revenues, calculated through the company's tariff of reference.

The equalisation of transmission costs is aimed at making the cost recognised to Terna for the transmission service (CTR) pass through the distributor, with the amount paid by end customers through the mandatory transmission tariff (TRAS).

With resolution 677/2018/R/eel of 18 December 2018, ARERA confirmed for the year 2019 the values of the agreed percentage loss factors to be applied to withdrawals, feed-in and interconnections between networks in Table 4 of the TIS, and initiated a procedure to finalise the regulation of losses with particular reference to the mechanism for equalisation of the same applied to distribution companies. This standard loss factor per company has been divided between technical and commercial losses.

On 19 December, Resolution no. 559/2019/R/eel confirmed the standard loss values to be applied to withdrawals, injections and interconnections between networks referred to in Table 4 of the TIS for the year 2020, and the Authority extended the deadline for the conclusion of the proceedings initiated by Resolution no. 677/2018/R/eel to 30 May 2020.

On 2 April, with Circular no. 6/2019/ELT, CSEA published the application to participate in the mechanism for mitigating the process of increasing the efficiency of commercial losses, pursuant to art. 26 of annex A to Resolution 301/2012/R/eel (TIV).

On 30 April, areti presented the information requested in the application form, declaring that it had implemented targeted actions to identify and contain commercial losses during the three-year period under evaluation (starting with the equalisation for the year 2016).

On 1 August, CSEA communicated the positive outcome of the application confirming the non-applicability of the amount established by paragraph 26.1 (TIV) to be settled due to the containment of commercial losses for each distribution company.

Equalisation of the purchase of electricity supplied for own use in transmission and distribution continues to be regulated in the new regulatory period.

In the new Transport Integrated Text, the ARERA has confirmed the mechanism of advance recognition on a two-monthly basis, of equalisation balances for revenue from the distribution service and transmission costs. With letter no. 8293 dated 27 May 2019, CSEA communicated the amount of these advance payments expected for the year 2019.

The Measurement Integrated Text (TIME) governs tariffs for the metering service, divided into meter installation and maintenance, taking meter readings, confirming and recording readings. The structure of the fees has been changed compared to the previous regulatory period only with regard to the fees for collection and validation of meter readings, previously broken down and now unified into a single fee.

The ARERA has introduced a new method of recognising the capital costs for low voltage electronic meters, for firms serving more than 100,000 grid points, based on criteria for determining the investments effectively realised by the single firms and retaining the criterion of calculating the measurement service tariffs on the basis of the national costs for the remote management systems and the electromechanical devices still being used (residual cost), also retaining the measurement equalisation for the fifth regulatory cycle. The equalisation mechanism is intended to equalise the revenue from the comparison of the obligatory tariffs billed to end users and the revenue valorised in the reference tariff.

On 5 March 2019, the ARERA published the definitive reference tariff for the electricity metering service for the year 2018 with resolution 76/2019/R/eel.

On 2 April 2019, the ARERA published the provisional reference tariff for the electricity metering service for the year 2019 with resolution 117/2019/R/eel.

The tariffs hedging the measurement service are updated, as are those for the distribution service, using the price-cap mechanism for the part hedging the operating costs (with the goal of a 1% recovery of productivity) and with the deflator, variation in invested capital and rate of change of the volumes supplied for the part hedging the invested capital and amortisations. The rate of remuneration of the measurement capital is the same as that for the distribution service.

Note that with resolution No. 646/2016/R/eel of 10 November 2016, the ARERA has shown how the definition and recognition of costs related to second generation (2G) smart metering systems for measuring low voltage electricity. On 8 March 2017, it published a release in which it updated the evaluation of the plan for entry into service of the 2G smart metering system prepared by e-distribuzione SpA. In order to present ARERA with an illustrative report on the commissioning plan of the 2G smart meter system, the company defined a project for the development of this system with the aim of replacing the current system of electronic meters.

Starting in 2017, and only with regard to the investments that come into operation in 2017, the ARERA has established in the same resolution that for the annual updating of the return on invested capital and depreciations concerning metering points effectively in low voltage, for each distribution firm, the maximum gross investment value recognisable per meter installed in 105% of the corresponding gross investment value per meter for the investments that came into operation in 2015.

On 20 March 2019, with the consultation document 100/2019/R/eel, the Authority introduced an update for the three-year period 2020-2022 of the provisions on the determination and recognition of costs relating to second generation (2G) smart metering systems. In particular, the proposals set out in the consultation document include:

  • the possibility of setting obligations on the timing of commissioning of 2G systems together with the modulation of the "conventional plan" in order to reduce the risk of a "two-speed country"; the updating and simplification of the provisions relating to admission to the shortened programme for companies that launch their plan for commissioning 2G smart metering systems in that three-year period;
  • the assessment of the provisions of Decree 93/2017 of the Minister for Economic Development concerning the periodic verification of electricity meters and the extra costs that could result from them;
  • the possibility of introducing provisions to quantify the penalties to be applied in the event of non-compliance with the expected levels of performance of 2G smart metering systems.

This was followed by Resolution no. 306/2019/R/eel on 16 July, which confirmed the guidelines presented in the previous consultation document. Specifically:

  • The Authority set 2022 as the deadline for the start of the plans for the commissioning of 2G systems and established that the mass replacement phase for the meter must be completed by 2026 (with a target of 95% of the meters included in the plan). Furthermore, in order to avoid the "two-speed country" risk, a new method of calculating the "conventional plan" was introduced for companies that have not yet submitted their rollout plan.
  • Starting from the 4th year of each PMS2, penalties are introduced for failure to meet expected performance levels, with annual and multi-annual ceilings on penalties for greater protection of service users.

On 20 September, areti sent the Authority the request for admission to the recognition of investments under the specific regime together with the plan for the commissioning of the 2G smart metering system and the other documents required by Resolution no. 306/2019/R/eel. The documentation was made available on 23 September on the areti website, and on 21 October a public session was held to present the Plan, during which the Company responded to the comments made by participants. On 20 December the Authority requested detailed information on the actual operating capital costs of Measure 1G and 2G set out in PMS2.

On 27 December, with Resolution no. 568/2019/R/eel, the Authority updated the tariff regulation for electricity transmission, distribution and metering services for the 2020-2023 regulatory period.

The "Integrated Text on dispositions of the Authority for the economic conditions for supplying connection services (TIC)", Annex C to Resolution 654/2015/R/eel, governs the economic terms for the provision of connection services and specific services (transfers of network equipment requested by end users, contract transfers, disconnections, etc.) to paying end users, essentially in line with the previous regulatory period.