In Italy, an electricity tariff reform is underway: this is a very good news for heat pumps systems because they will be more convenient to install and use.
In Italy, the reform of electricity prices has entered the second phase on 1 January 2017: the aim is the elimination of price differentiation based on consumption brackets, guaranteeing a fairer tariff to stimulate investments for a more efficient and sustainable energy system. This reform was introduced by the Authority for Electricity as planned by the Parliament and the Government (D.Lgs. N. 102/14) in order to implement the European Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency.
With the new reform the progressive tariff structure has been abandoned. The new tariff, called TD, is equal for domestic clients and variable only based on the connection capacity and of the kWh drawn from each network. It was introduced on 1 January 2017.
Actually, the tariffs we knew are gone, that is D2 for residents up to 3kW, D3 for non-residents and residents with more than 3kW and the experimental tariff D1 for heat pumps.
The differentiation between residents and non-residents remains for the tariff components related to general system charges.
A fee structure equal for all the domestic clients will be defined for the network services. It will include the costs for the measurement, trading, and distribution at a fixed rate per client (€/year) and on the basis of the capacity (€/kW/year) and the transmission costs (€ cents/kWh).
The reform of electricity prices together with the introduction of the new TD tariff brings with it some benefits for who will install efficient electrical equipment such as heat pumps by encouraging the introduction of renewable sources (such as photovoltaic) and storage systems.
The aim of the reform is to reward efficient technologies, that is those shifting consumptions towards the electrical sources. With heat pumps it is possible to avoid gas using in an efficient way electricity consumption, but still requiring a competitive electricity tariff.
Already in 2014 - precisely to encourage the installation and support those who had already decided to shift their consumptions towards electrical sources - the D1 tariff, which anticipated that the cost of every kWh consumed was constant and did not depend on the consumed kWh, has been introduced.
Since 1 January 2017 those who had joined the experimental tariff D1 have shifted to the new non-progressive TD tariff, which, starting from 2018, will be the same for everybody, while those who did not join the experimental tariff are in phase 2 of the reform and so they will benefit only from a decrease of the general system charges.
The connection capacity of the counter
The reform of electricity prices introduces an interesting news related to the electrical connection capacity. Usually, the installation of a heat pump involves an increase in the connection capacity.
Before the reform of electricity prices, the capacity brackets were fixed (1.5kW, 3kW, 4.5kW and 6kW), while now more capacity levels are available, so that it is possible to choose the most appropriate.
The classification starts always from 1.5kW but continues with an addition of 0.5kW for domestic groups (2.5kW, 3.5kW, 4kW, etc.), while in case of values higher than 6kW (for consumptions activated in three-phase) the addition is 1kW.