ENEL: resident & non-resident rates and kW

10/30/2011 - 06:51

Much to my suprise, in the last few months I've come across a few "foreigners" who have been paying too much for their electricity...and as it's already expensive enough here, it seems a real shame, not to say tragedy! I suppose you could, if being uncharitable, say it is their fault for not doing their research, but personally, I think they were unlucky with their respective estate agents who, having made the sale, could not be bothered to make just a tiny effort more to make sure their foreign clients had some pretty basic info about setting up house in Italy.So...in case there is anyone else out there that I can help save a few pennies....be aware that non-residents pay more for their electricy than residents: certainly a higher standing charge - but also, I'm pretty sure -(one Enel person told me this was not the case, but several others confirmed it was....) they also pay more per unit. If you are resident here, you need to double check your bill - or phone the Enel freephone number and they will tell you one way or another. If you need to get things changed, they can email you a form to fill in which you return, with copy of your ID card (which proves you are resident) and they will do the necessary. I'm told you can apply for a refund on the extra you have been paying - but as many will no doubt confirm - this is likely to be a long and frustrating business, with no guarantee of success!Whilst on the subject of Enel - most houses in Italy are supplied with 3 kW of power - which in the scheme of things is not that much and why many of us discovered a long time ago that often have to switch off something before you can switch something else on. In my case - I can't have the electric water heater, washing machine and iron going all at the same time! It is possible to apply for a higher / larger kW .....but doing so also increases the standing charge and price per unit. To switch back to 3kW is of course possible - but it will cost you! You pay approx 80 Euro....but once the switch has been made, you can then apply for a refund of the approx 50 Euro deposit you paid when the electricity was first hooked up in your name...Finally - I've also discovered a few people don't realize there are now 3 time bands for electricity. Mon - Fri You pay more (F1) between 8 a.m. and 7 p,m, a bit less(F2) between 7-8a.m. and 7-11 p.m. (and 7a.m. - 11 p.m. on Sat) and least (F3) between midnight and 7a.m, 11pm to midnight Mon-Sat and all day Sunday plus major holidays (check back of bill for dates). If you notice that despite having a computerised meter your bills are only estimated, it is worth phoning in the readings...press the button next to the LED display 7 times to get the A1 reading (corresponds to F1) press once more for A2 (=F3) and once more for A3 (=F3)Whilst I'm sure most people reading the forums will know all this - if this helps even one person - then it was worth it!


I agree that this is indeed very useful information - thank you.  My recollection however is that ENEL assume that you are a resident when you set up your initial account and charge you accordingly.  They then send you a document to complete and return where you are also supposed to attach a copy of your residency doc as proof. Only if you don't complete and return this form do they then switch you to the more expensive rate and backdate your higher charges too.  So, in effect, you have to confirm the automatic opt-in for the lower residents' rate.  I couldn't honestly say if this is always the case but we have done this twice in the last 18 months - once in a rental and then on the flat we subsequently bought.

In reply to by cardi

Italians can only have one place in which they are resident, so a second home owner can't get the resident rate on the home in which he is not registered as resident. I think that the resident rate is ONLY applied to supplies of 3.3kW: there is no difference in what you pay if you have more than 3.3kW - (Badger's links should make this clear).

In reply to by cardi

as others have said, you can only pay the "resident" rate on the one house - but what a lot of Italians do - and some foreigners too...is to put the different houses in different names - e.g. husband owns and is resident in house no. 1 whilst wife owns and is resident in house no. 2. There are several foreign couples I know in this area who have done just this....it means that they only pay the 3% tax on their holiday home (and one of them becomes legally resident) and get the cheaper elec. rates etc etc.  Also worth considering if you want to be eligible to apply for any of the "aggevolazione" (grants) for restructuring the property or fitting solar panels etc.  It does however mean you can't sell the house - without buying another one where you will "continue" to be resident for ...can't remember if it is 3 or 5 years (otherwise you are liable to pay the outstanding 7% tax plus interest on the original house you purchased). Some notaries actively encourage foreign buyers to go this route - others won't allow it...as always in Italy, it just depends!

Thats interesting Fillide, didnt know that. We manage on the 3.3 kw supply for our 3 bed house and our apartment. We dont have many electric guzzling appliances, and have gas ovens and hobs, hob kettles, and no dishwasher. It is possible on a small scale to achieve this. I guess you could say that we use more gas but in the summer that is of no account. The winter is different and gas is a huge expense to factor in, even with a stufa in the house.

This is the whole point of the 'resident' tariff - it is designed to assist those users who are (maybe need to be) a bit parsimonious with their electricity usage, and is based on the idea that 3.3Kw is absolutely enough on which to run a small household. Regard it as a state subsidy for 'pensioners', and don't get pissed off when you find that your (presumed) requirement for 6.6kW doesn't cut you into the discount scheme. 

Just want to repeat an answer in a different thread, and would appreciate feedback on this: My last ENEL bill works out to 22.45 c/kwh (€326.21 for 1453 kwh on a 6 kwh supply)   On the ItalyPowerd website there was - until this morning - a sample bill showing clearly that buying from them entailed an effective price of 32.73.  A second sample bill, which has also been taken down - I wonder why - showed lower usage which pushed up IP's effective to 48 c/kwh (due to high fixed charges). So their strapline: "Save up to 60%..." should read "Spend 30% more..." Interesting mistake, coupled with disinformatiion, on their front page:

  1. Choose from either a fixed rate of 0.75 cents per KWh, or our "twin hour" option: 0.84 cents per KWh peak rate and 0.69 cents per KWh evenings and weekends.
  2. No hidden extras for non-residents

Er, 'scuse me, I can only guess that there's a decimal point in the wrong place.  But nowhere, and I mean NOWHERE, on the site is shown all the blah blah stuff added on that trebles/quadruples the actual charge on the bottom line. Hope this makes sense and helps people.

Finally got my residency sorted a few months ago so was looking forward to the leccy bills going down a bit but seems as we have 6kw I can save myself a trip to the PO fax machine to show Enel my residency cert, it'll be the same price anyway...3kw would be ok in winter but the pool pump which runs at about 1.3 in summer means we really do need the extra potential then and I guess you cant switch to a lower limit for half the year of course. It does make looking at an off grid PV system even more interesting as prices drop, can anyone confirm if is possible to take your leccy off grid in winter (say with a set up which supplies about 3k) and  top up with the lower 3k supply from enel at the cheaper price when needed? Anyone here have experience of running a non grid tied system  in Italy? As so far we have failed to have the address for the bills we are sent changed from no 20 to no 17 on the same rd despite 4 phone calls over 18months from native Italian speakers requesting the update (and each time being assured that it was all sorted) I hate to think how hard it may be to agree a system combining a lower demand rate with an independent off grid supply ...aaargh. Am

Amaretto, you could run an independant PV system just for your pool pump + probably to top up house hot water.  In the winter you'd still get a significant kick from a 3 KW potential set of panels (about 12 sq metres).  You'll need a bigger hot water tank probably. It's unlikely to be worth not tying up to the grid, however.  I'm not even sure you'd get the full production tariff if you don't.  At about 38 c/kwh (if you're quick) plus a small contribution if there's unused leccy going into the grid, it's pretty well obligatory. One things for sure:  there are plenty of photovoltaic installers around, jumping on the bandwagon, so cast about for good prices. Cheers Lo Spic.

Thanks to everyone for this very useful piece of information.    This will be our first winter in our small 2 bed apt. so I'd welcome any info on how much we can expect to pay for our usage per month.   We'll be using small electrical fan heaters but if we then find that we're paying more than we would for central heating in UK during the coldest quarter we might have to re-think where we spend our winters.  For health reasons we have decided not to apply for residency as having recently retired we don't want to cut ourselves off from the NHS.  I'm almost certain (but would appreciate confirmation from the experts) that as non-residents, even though we have our EHIC, we would have to pay for a doctors consultation should it be necessary.          I'd appreciate any advice on utilities and medical costs. Thanks  

Thank you for this information. I've been living permanently in Italy for 16 months, and was told this week by an English woman about the different Enel tarrifs. I'm now only doing washing and hoovering on Sundays, and have a timer on the water heater. I hope not to be in "fuel poverty" for much longer! 

I switched from Enel to Eni over a year ago....the first few bills were higher and I was spitting...but then they settled and I now pay about half what I was, with the advantage of a single rate, so can use the washing machine any time of the day/day of the week...