Many Italian households increasingly rely on gas to fuel their heating and cooking devices. Getting your gas connected and set up when you arrive shouldn’t be too difficult and will only take a couple of days to arrange. When I renovated my apartment in Volterra, I switched from electric to gas for both heating the apartment and also for cooking. This switch was expensive thing to do because there was no gas connection in my apartment. We had to pull the connection from the apartment below mine.
Italy is a country that is made up of several different climatic zones and this is also reflected in the cost of bills for household gas. For instance, if you are living in Palermo, a very warm part of Italy, then your gas bill could end up being less than a third of your bill if you were living in Milan or another colder part of the country.
How Do You Get Gas In Italy?
Since 2003, when the gas markets were widely deregulated, consumers in Italy can choose their own gas provider. This gives you more flexibility as well as the opportunity to decide how you want gas delivered to your home. There are 3 main ways that you can get gas for your household in Italy:
- Gas from the mains (gas di Citta).
- Bottled gas (bombole).
- Exterior/outdoor gas tank (bombolone).
Getting A Gas Connection In Italy From The Mains.
Mains gas (gas piped to buildings through pipes) is probably the most convenient way to get gas for your home because it is automatically delivered through pipes and metered by your energy provider. Essentially, you simply have to pay your monthly or bimonthly bills and you’ll be serviced with all the gas that you need. Getting gas like this is rare in American cities but is common in Europe.
Mains gas is most widely available in larger towns and cities. However, in many rural parts of Italy, particularly in small villages and remote locations, you won’t be able to access mains gas and will have to use an alternative method to heat your home and cook your food.
If you are using gas from the mains your appliances, heating systems and any other installations will have to be approved by the supplier to ensure that they are safe. Gas water heaters, and other major appliances, should also be serviced regularly and may need to be descaled by a professional every year or two.
How To Get Connected To The Mains Gas?
If you’ve recently moved into a new property you should contact a local supplier to have your meter read and the gas supply turned on again. Generally, it’s much easier to continue using the same supplier as the former tenant or owner of the property you’re living in.
What Do You Need To Get Connected To The Mains Gas?
The following things are needed to get a gas connection:
- The registration number of the gas meter in your property.
- The name of the former owner or tenant of the property (not essential, but it will make the process easier if you have this information).
- Your name and bank account details.
- If you need extra advice, you should speak to your estate agent who will be able to tell you which supplier serviced the property before you moved in.
Bottled gas, also known as ‘bombole’, is delivered as either butane or propane gas in metal containers which are then attached to piping under the sink in your kitchen. This is usually used to fuel your cooker but it can also be connected to other appliances to heat your home or water.
Most providers require you to pay a small deposit for the first bottles that you buy, usually around 10-20 Euros. After that, you simply exchange the empty bottles for full bottles as you purchase more in the future.
Bottled gas is sold in quantities of 10, 15 or 20 kilograms. You can most easily buy your bottled gas from a local petrol station or supermarket.
External/Outdoor Gas Tank.
An external gas tank, also known as a ‘bombolone’, is the most common way to use gas in rural parts of Italy. The gas is stored in a large external tank which usually holds around 1,000 liters of liquid gas. This is used for cooking, heating your home and for your hot water.
The gas tank will usually be installed by your gas supplier who will then charge you for refills. You will need to sign a supply contract with the gas company that will include a minimum fixed usage clause. Any gas that you use over and above the agreed amount will be paid for separately.
It’s worth being aware that if you have an external gas tank installed on your property you will also need to contact your insurance provider because there is likely to be an extra premium that you will need to pay.
The Biggest Gas Suppliers In Italy.
The largest gas provider in Italy, as of 2020, is Eni, which has a market share of 18.4%. The second largest provider is Edison, with a 13.5% market share, followed by Enel with a market share of 11.8%.
If you’re renting a property, or have recently purchased a home, the estate agent will be able to advise you about who the best local suppliers are for gas. Generally, you should try to continue with the same supplier as the previous tenant or owner, especially initially, because this will make it quicker and easier to get reconnected.
What Is The Cost Of Gas For Households In Italy?
As a rough estimate, the average Italian household will pay around 80 Euros per month for their gas. However, over the last year, gas prices have skyrocketed in Italy and already households are looking at gas bills that are as much as 100-300% more expensive than just 1 year ago!
The ongoing Ukrainian conflict and Europe’s reduced supply of natural gas both mean that Italians, like most Europeans, should probably expect their gas bills to remain higher than usual for the foreseeable future.
How Do You Pay Your Household Gas Bills In Italy?
The most common way of paying your gas bill is to drop by the Poste Italiane which allows you to make regular payments for all your utilities, including gas. You should receive a printed statement and a payment form from your supplier to fill out in the post. Once it arrives you just need to take it down to the Poste Italiane to pay your bill.
After you’ve paid the bill, the clerk in the post office will stamp your half of the form and return it to you. You should keep this in your records as proof that you have paid the bill.
Alternatively, you can set up a regular direct debit payment with the gas provider or, you can pay by transferring money directly from your bank account.
How Often Do You Pay Your Gas Bills In Italy?
Generally, you will be invoiced for your gas on a bi-monthly basis. In some cases, you may need to pay each month.
Do Gas Prices Vary During The Day Or From Region To Region?
Unlike other utilities, such as electricity, gas does not vary in price throughout the day. This is because it is often stored in external tanks or bought by the bottle from a local petrol station. Of course, there are small regional variations in the price of gas but you can find out more about this by asking your estate agent or the gas provider themselves.
Easy Ways To Save Money On Your Gas Bills In Italy.
With increasing gas prices it’s vital to do your best to reduce your energy usage and save money on your bills.
- Try to buy energy-efficient appliances. Many modern household appliances are far more energy-saving than older models. This can save you a significant amount of money over time, especially when energy prices are rising.
- Draught proof your property. If you’re losing heat due to poor insulation and drafty rooms then a few minor home improvements can help you to use less heating and, therefore, save money on your gas heating bills.
- Install a new boiler. It’s often worth installing a new boiler, particularly if your property has an old and inefficient model. Despite the initial investment, the savings can be more than worth it over time.
Gas For Households In Italy.
Gas is a popular option for household heating, hot water and cooking in Italy, especially in rural parts of the country. It’s easy to get yourself connected to the mains if you’re in a city but if you’re in the countryside then you may need to arrange regular refills for your external gas tank. Alternatively, if your property uses bottled gas, then you just need to drop by the nearest petrol station or supermarket to buy new bottles.