On December 16th Acquirente unico published the results of an auctions through which the Italian regulator has selected the suppliers of the default service (the Servizio a tutele graduali) for the next four years to about 1.5 million of small non-household customers (https://www.acquirenteunico.it/stampa/notizie/esito-procedura-servizio-tutele-graduali-microimprese). The new default supplier regime replaces one based on a regulated tariff and paves the way for implementation of a similar model to the 10 millions residential consumers who currently have not yet selected a supplier in the market.
The Servizio a tutele graduali is meant to protect irremediably passive customers by making available a sourcing option at the prices determined in the auction. Further, mobilisation of the potentially active customers is promoted, by allowing the suppliers of the Servizio a tutele graduali to address their clients to turn them to their market-based supply options. A practice that was not allowed to the suppliers of the previous regulated default service
12 lots corresponding to different geographical areas, each of about 125.000 customers, were auctioned off in an ascending multi-round auction, in which would-be suppliers bid a discount on a the previous regulated tariff. 7 different suppliers won one or more lots and no one lot turned out to be assigned for the previous supplier of the default service in the area.
Customers moving to the Servizio a tutele graduali will save in total around 135 million euros per year.
We read the result of the auction for the Servizio a tutele graduali as confirmation that auctions are a powerful tool available to public authorities, and as an indication that customer aggregation, possibly by intermediaries such as collective switching agents, brokers or even active price-comparison websites, is key to allow smaller electricity customers to benefit from competition.View all Cases