Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on September 23 announced measures worth three billion euros to keep gas and electricity bills down this winter as power prices soar across Europe, Report informs referring to Euractiv.
He told the Confindustria employers association the measures would particularly target the poorest and most vulnerable.
“In the absence of government intervention, in the next quarter, the price of electricity could increase by around 40 percent, and that of gas by 30 percent,” Draghi said.
“For this reason, we have decided to eliminate for the last quarter of the year the system costs for gas for everyone, and for electricity for families and small companies.”
System costs are added to energy bills to cover measures such as incentives for renewable energy sources.
Ministers green-lighted the move at a cabinet meeting later Thursday.
Draghi said the government will also boost energy bonuses for the less-well-off groups, in a package worth more than three billion euros, which followed €1.2 billion pledged in June.
The former European Central Bank chief said that many of the reasons for the energy price increases were temporary but called for long-term action, including at a European level, to address the problem, including through diversifying supplies.
Italy is highly dependent on imports and consumes a large amount of gas. Some 40% of its primary energy consumption is gas, compared with about 15% in France, according to official statistics for both countries.