Unlike most Europeans, residents of Basilicata will not worry about gas prices this winter, Source: Unsplash

Residents of this Italian region will get free gas

Residents of this Italian region will get free gas

Households in Basilicata will still have to pay for transport and service fees, but otherwise, they won’t have to worry about gas prices this winter

Starting in October, household gas consumers living in the Italian region of Basilicata will not pay for the gas they consume after a law was approved to that effect earlier this week. This will make the people of this southern Italian region among the few who will not have to worry about rising energy prices this winter.

Actually, they might not have to worry about gas prices even for the next seven winters (until 2029), after the regional government concluded an agreement with the three large hydrocarbon companies operating locally (Eni, Total and Shell). These companies will provide free gas as an environmental compensation for being allowed to work there.

Basilicata is known as the Texas of Italy

Located in the deep South of Italy, Basilicata is a largely rural and sparsely populated region. It, however, is also the country’s largest source of oil and methane gas, earning it the moniker “The Italian Texas”.

The regional governor Vito Bardi struck an agreement with the energy companies to provide approximately 200 million cubic metres of gas per year as a kind of an environmental tax for their operations.

The benefit is valid only for domestic users, not for companies (otherwise the ban on state aid to the economy would have been triggered). On balance, it is estimated that about 110,000 families can use the free gas provided.

What will be free, however, is the consumption and not the service and maintenance charges, which are also included in a utility bill. Nevertheless, the authorities point out that the overall energy bills will be halved for the beneficiaries.

Thanks to this mechanism, Basilicata gas consumers will remain sheltered from all the energy price increases that slated to affect the rest of Italy and Europe in the coming months. That alone makes them part of a small and privileged club.

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