If you have already switched to the free market, with the increase in your bill, you may have already questioned whether it would be worth switching to the regulated electricity and gas market again. Is it worth making a new change to your contract? The answer is not unique, that is, it depends on your consumption.Thus, in order to be able to make an informed decision and reduce the monthly cost you pay for electricity and gas, in this article we seek to distinguish free market and regulated market and if you find that the latter is more advantageous to you, find out how you can change.
Regulated market vs free market
In the regulated market Energy Services Regulatory Authority (ERSE) annually sets electricity and gas tariffs that the private consumer pays and that are in force throughout that period.In the regulated market, tariffs are freely set by the supplying entities. that compete with each other. The tariffs are thus defined by the different companies, but always in accordance with the Competition Rules and the Commercial Relations Regulations that can be found on the ERSE website. Rates have no validity period and can be unilaterally changed at any time.
As mentioned, in the regulated market the price to be paid for electricity or gas is set annually by ERSE. But beware, this market will end in 2025.
Fee validity period
In the regulated market Electricity tariff is fixed for a period that coincides with the calendar year (January to December) while the Gas tariff is fixed for a period called “gas year” (October to September). And it remains unchanged during that period. That is, even if there is a change in the price of energy at origin, the amount payable remains.
Fare price formation
The gas and electricity tariffs result from the sum of the network access tariff (paid by all consumers, regardless of the market in which they are located) with the Energy tariff and the Commercialization tariff (set by ERSE) to which are added taxes and feesalso common to all consumers.
Companies that trade in the regulated market
Companies that sell energy on the regulated market are called Merchants of Last Resort (CUR). To find out which CUR of electricity you can use on the ERSE website, you can find this information. But if you want to know the CUR for the supply of natural gas, just enter your area of residence and you will quickly know which entity you should go to.
In the free market, companies operating in this market freely set the price they charge (within fair rules). As the competition is great, the existence of discounts (more or less long in time) is one of the most used techniques to attract customers. the argument that it will have to do so until the end of 2025 and therefore it will have to do it now even taking advantage of the discount campaign in force. And even the increase in the price of energy could actually be advantageous and that’s why it moved to this market. Also read: Use smart meters to save on electricity
Impact of world markets on your bill
With the increase in the price of energy in the world market, companies have been increasing or announcing that they will increase the prices they charge to consumers. And your bill will definitely go up if you’re on the free market.Remember that until recently whoever left the regulated market for the free market in natural gas could not go back.In the electricity market, the situation was already different. With the publication of Ordinance 348/2017, the Free market companies now have to compare the amount the customer pays with the amount they would pay in the regulated market on their invoice. And if this second is more favorable, the customer can return to the regulated market. But this was not the case with natural gas. However, given the negative impact that this increase may have (or already has) on the family budget, pressured by rising inflation, the The government also opened the possibility of returning to the regulated market for gas. That is, you can go back on the decision and return to this market as of October this year.
Evaluate whether it is worth returning to the regulated market
Before deciding to return to the regulated market, you must check your consumption, the prices they charge you, as well as the fixed values. Also see if you are in loyalty period or not. If so, understand whether you have to pay a penalty for terminating the contract. Then compare with what you would pay with the same consumption in the regulated market. Don’t stop here, compare with other offers on the free market. do it yet simulations to find out about offers, prices and discounts. Based on the information you have obtained, then decide which option is best for you.
How to return to the regulated market
Returning to the regulated market still depends on a few more conditions. And it also depends on having contracted both services to the same company.
If you have an electricity-only contract
In this case, customers with contracted power of up to 41.4 kVA can return to the regulated market.The first step will be to contact your electricity supplier and find out if they offer the regime equivalent to the regulated market tariff. It must be communicated to you in the maximum period of 10 working days.In case the answer is positive, the change will be quick, but in case it is negative, it will have to be communicated in writing. Then you will have to go to the ERSE website and contact a Retailer of Last Resort and make a new contract. Also read: Bi-hourly tariff: Find out how to adjust and if you can save on electricity
If you have a natural gas only contract
In this situation, the regulated market may return to the customers with consumption equal to or less than 10,000 cubic of natural gas, including individuals and small businesses.There is no regime similar to the regulated market tariff in the free market entities, so you will have to change to a CUR. To find out which CUR you should go to, go to the ERSE website here and enter your area of residence. Then just contact him and the CUR will handle the entire process without interrupting the gas supply also dealing with the termination with your current supplier.
If you have a natural gas and electricity contract with the same company
In this case, the conditions that allow you to return to the regulated market are the same and, therefore, If it is advantageous for you to switch to electricity and gas, what we said earlier is valid.If you want to change just one, the situation may be different. The price you are paying is associated with the contracting of electricity and natural gas, so if you only want to change your natural gas supplier, you may have an increase in the price of electricity. In the same way, if you just want to change your electricity supplier, you may have an increase in the price of natural gas. So, do the math and see, once again, which is the most advantageous solution. If you are going out then contact a CUR for each of the supplies. Also read: How to save on gas without major sacrifices in your routines