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Italy - Gas

In Italy gas is widely used for indoor heating, water heating and cooking purposes. Consumers can choose their own service provider as the market has been deregulated since January 2003. There are three forms of gas available in this country: mains gas (gas di citta), bottled gas (bombole) and outdoor gas tanks (bombolone).

Mains gas can be described as a network of pipelines, which acts as a common source of supply for various gas service lines. Consumers of this form of gas don’t purchase or maintain a stock at home; their houses receive a continuous flow of gas through the pipes. People living in cities, larger towns and the northern part of Italy are more likely to use mains gas. The installation and connection of this gas needs to be approved by the supplier. There are many companies in Italy that provide main gas to consumers all across the nations. These include:

Enel Gas
Toll free number: 800 900 860
URL: http://www.enel.it

A2A Energia
Tel: +39 02 3660 9191
Toll free number: 800 199 955 / 800 912 760
URL: http://www.a2a.eu

ACEA Energia
Tel: +39 06 4569 8240
Toll free number: 800 130 338
URL: http://www.aceaenergia.it

Toll free number: 800 552866 / 800 222 955
URL: http://www.agsm.it

Aim Energy
Toll free number: 800 226 226
URL: http://www.aimenergy.it

Tel: +39 02 583711
URL: http://www.butangas.it

Edison SPA
Toll free number: 800 031 141
Toll free fax: 800 031 143
URL: http://www.edisonenergia.it

Tel: +39 02 8967 4181
Toll free number: 800 900 700 / 800 012 436
URL: http://www.eni.com

E.ON Energia
Tel: +39 02 9164 6101
Toll free number: 800 999 777 / 800 647 764
URL: http://www.eon-energia.com/it

Italgas / SNAM
Toll free numbers: 800 900 999
URL: http://www.italgas.it / http://www.snam.it

Toll free numbers: 800 151 313
URL: http://www.vivigas.it

To get connected, choose a provider and call their customer service number. For a new gas connection expats need to submit their identity document (documento identita), tax number (codice fiscal) and address proof to the company. If there is an existing connection in the premises that has to be transferred, the details required are: registration number of the meter, name of the previous account holder along with the name and details of the new occupant.

Like most other utilities in Italy, main gas meters are read every two months. Customers can know how much gas they have consumed at any time, by calling the Auto-reading number mentioned on the bill as well as their company’s website. They receive a bill every alternate month and need to make a payment by the due date mentioned.

It is best to set up a direct debit for gas payments. Alternately, bills can be paid off over the counter using cash or a check. Many consumers also pay their mains gas bill online or at the local post office. Non-payment of outstanding dues could lead to disconnection of gas at a property.

All the gas providers have emergency contact numbers listed on their bills and websites. In case there is a smell of gas, indicating a leak, it is essential to turn off the gas switch, open all the windows and vacate the premises, before calling the emergency number. Do not switch on the gas, until the problem has been checked and resolved.

In bottle gas, a form of energy (butane or in some cases propane) is compressed before being stored in a cylinder. These “bottles” are actually canisters made of stainless steel, carbon steel or aluminum. In smaller towns, many people use bottle gas instead of mains. It can be purchased in quantities of 10kgs, 15kg and 20kgs. While some of the suppliers deliver gas to the customer’s doorstep, many prefer picking up the bottles from supermarkets and petrol stations. These bottles are generally stored in the kitchen, close to the cooking range. Since consumers pay for the gas in advance, there is no meter installed or bill generated. In addition to the cost of the gas, there is a €10.00 deposit charged on purchase of the first bottle. After that the empty bottles can be exchanged for full ones. This form of gas is best for smaller houses with low usage of gas, as it can turn out a bit expensive in the long run.

People living in the rural areas generally use tank gas. About 1,000 liters of liquid gas is placed in a large tank outside the house, for heating and cooking purposes. For safety reasons, the tank should be situated underground or at least 25m away from the property. An occupant signs a contract with a gas company, where a fixed minimum usage per year is agreed upon. After that, the gas provider installs a tank, which remains the company’s property. Consumers are then charged as and when they are supplied gas.

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