Acea group customers: electricity and water services

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According to the latest data from the Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and Environment (ARERA)61, Acea Energia is Italy’s seventh largest operator in terms of volumes of electricity sold on the final market, with a market share of 2.9%, and fifth, with a 3.3% market share, for energy sold to households (“domestic customers”). The company is also Italy’s second largest operator in terms of volumes sold to customers of the greater protection service, with a market share of 6.1%, in tenth place in terms of volumes sold to the free market, with a share of 2.6%, continuing to be placed in the “major sellers” category (sales between 5 and 10 TWh).
Contracts managed by the Group for electricity and gas (free market and greater protection service62), totalled 1,543,778 at 31 December 2023, an increase of around 9% with respect to 2022, in particular involving the free market gas segment and the electricity free market segment (mass market); the latter was positively impacted by the approximately 95,000 “gradual protection” customers (in the “micro-enterprise” category) acquired by Acea Energia following the awarding of a lot through the auctions which are part of the progressive liberalising of the electricity sales market, which were held in 2022 (see table no. 21).

Areti, holder of the ministerial concession for the distribution of electricity in the territory of Rome and Formello, is Italy’s third largest operator in terms of total volumes of energy distributed, with 3.5% of the market share (the second largest “domestic” operator, with a 4.6% share, and third “non-domestic”, with a 3.2% share) and is also Italy’s second largest operator in terms of withdrawal points63. As at 31 December 2023, it manages 1,659,276 withdrawal points. The growth of the customer base, which generally shows slight increases or decreases (+0.6% in 2023), is due both to urban expansion and disposals resulting, for example, from discontinued operations (see Table no. 21).


A prosumer is at the same time a producer and consumer of energy; it partially or totally ensures its own energy supply and transfers any surplus produced to the grid. These entities play an increasingly important and widespread role, interacting with both the distributor and the entity in charge of selling/collecting energy. Acea responds adequately to the evolution of the energy model, by developing the capacity of connection, transmission and distribution systems.

At 31.12.2023, there were 23,113 prosumers active on the energy distribution network managed by Areti: this figure, compared to the 17,993 prosumers recorded in 2022, shows annual growth of 28%, greater than the percentage increase recorded between 2022 and 2021. This trend indicates the evolution, now under way, in the energy production/consumption model, which could support the development of “Energy Communities”.

The largest number of prosumers (18,940) are qualified as “domestic prosumers”, i.e. customers with residential user contracts who are also small-scale energy producers, and 4,173 are qualified as “other uses”, i.e. non-domestic users (businesses, professional firms and artisans). About 13,000 of the prosumers on the Acea network are fed Acea Energia customers. The energy fed into the grid by these entities in 2023 is 87.13 GWh, of which about 73% is from photovoltaic sources.

Chart no. 20 – Prosumer trend (no.) and energy fed into the grid (GWh) – 2021-2023

Chart 20



The electricity and gas social bonus is envisaged for customers with economic difficulties and customers who, due to their health status, require energy-intensive medical equipment. This mechanism underwent regulatory changes in recent years64, which introduced, among other things, automatic application to citizens/households who are eligible for electricity and gas social bonuses due to economic difficulties65 (while the bonus for physical problems continues to be managed by municipalities and/or CAF). These changes led, in 2023, to another significant increase in the number of users of the bonus (electricity and gas) and to the amounts recognised. In particular, in 2023, 151,196 Acea Energia customers benefited from the electricity bonus (greater protection service and free market),66 (around 39% more than the 108,909 customers in 2022), with economic savings generated for eligible customers of around € 53.8 million. In detail, 150,029 bonuses were paid for economic hardship (99% of the total) and 1,462 for physical hardship (state of health), making a total of 151,491, which is higher than the number of beneficiary customers as one customer may benefit from both subsidies.

Similarly to the electricity bonus, ARERA provides for the "GAS bonus", with similar procedures. The number of customers eligible for this bonus in 2023 was 54,523 (29,752 in 2022), representing economic savings equal to about € 16.8 million.

Overall, during the year, the bonus system (both electricity and gas) resulted in savings of over € 70.6 million for Acea Energia customers who benefited from it (this figure in 2022 was € 60.6 million. In the territory served by the distribution network managed by Areti, which refers to customers served by both Acea Energia and other sellers, in 2023 there was a total of 157,157 customers eligible for the electricity bonus (155,333 for financial hardship, 1,824 67 Pursuant to Decree Law no. 124 of 26 October 2019, converted with amendments by Law no. 157 of 19 December 2019. 68 Resolution 366/2021/R/com. for physical hardship), recording an increase of around 24% in the number of those eligible (126,584 eligible for the bonus in 2022). The major changes recorded in the year should be considered mainly in relation to the legislative amendment of the ISEE threshold value for accessing the benefits (from € 12,000 for 2022 to € 15,000 for 2023) and the expansion of the subsidies to those receiving national income.

Acea is also Italy’s leading integrated water service operator (catchment, supply, purification, wastewater collection and treatment) in terms of population covered, with around 2.8 million connected users and 8.8 million inhabitants served (see Table 21). Within the area of Rome and province alone, managed by Acea Ato 2, there are more than 759,000 users and a served population equal to nearly 4 million people. Starting from this area – OTA 2-Central Lazio – over time the Group has expanded its activities, becoming the reference operator also in the province of Frosinone (Lazio), in the provinces of Pisa, Florence, Siena, Grosseto, Arezzo and Lucca (Tuscany), in the areas from the Sorrento peninsula to the areas around Vesuvius in the provinces of Naples and Salerno and the province of Benevento (Campania) and Perugia and Terni (Umbria). Moreover, the Group operates in a number of South American countries.


The social water bonus, implemented by ARERA, provides for a discount for the supply of water to domestic users under ascertained socio-economic hardship, based on specific thresholds of the ISEE indicator and calculated according to family numbers (per capita basis), applying the discounted tariff to the quantity of water required to satisfy the protected amount (about 50 litres/inhabitant/day). Area Governing Bodies may introduce or confirm further measures of protection for users in financially vulnerable conditions, granting a local “supplementary water bonus”. From 1 January 2021 the national water social bonuses for financial hardship were automatically recognised for eligible citizens/households, without requiring submission of an application67. Over the last three years, the Authority has established regulations for application methods, quantification criteria and payment of the bonus to those eligible, as well as the activities and roles played by various actors. The automatic recognition of the bonus involves an exchange of information flows between the Water Operator, Acquirente Unico SpA (the manager of the Integrated Information System) and INPS, assigning to the Operators the responsibility of processing the personal data68 required to identify the users and pay the bonuses. Verification of the adequacy of privacy safeguards is carried out progressively, allowing for information to be sent to individual Managers once completed; the regulations became fully operational in 2023. At the end of December, with its resolution 622, the Authority amended certain methods used to update and quantify the social bonuses, which will take effect in 2024.

In 2023 Acea Ato 2, already fully operational as from 2022, paid national water bonuses to 239,259 users, for a value of around € 10.6 million and supplementary water bonuses (local) to 3,047 users for a value of € 647,941.
Acea Ato 5, already fully operational as from 2022, paid national water bonuses to 16,207 users during the year in question, generating total economic savings for its beneficiaries of around € 2.2 million.

AdF, with reference to the national water bonus, began to receive information from Acquirente Unico in May 2023 (for bonuses relative to 2021, 2022 and 2023). Therefore, at 31 December 2023 it had paid this type of bonus to 20,377 users, for a value of around € 4.1 million and continued to pay the supplementary water bonus to 4,549 users, for a total of € 560,378.

Gori, fully operational as from 2022, paid the national water bonus to 102,054 users, for a value of around € 3.3 million.

Gesesa began receiving information from Acquirente Unico to pay the national water bonus in May 2023 (for bonuses relative to 2021, 2022 and 2023) and, at 31 December 2023, had paid national water bonuses to 19,939 users, for a value of 829,377.

Considering all the figures for national and supplementary water bonuses, when applied, for the water companies in the scope of consolidation, the system generated total economic savings for beneficiaries of over € 22.2 million.

Table no. 21 – Acea Group customers (energy and water sectors) (2021-2023)

  u. m.   2021 2022 2023
ENERGY AND GAS SALES (Acea Energia e Umbria Energy)  
standard market service no. of withdrawal points   690,806 637,724


free market EE - mass market (*) no. of withdrawal points   393,182 426,963


free market EE - large customers no. of withdrawal points   94,698 108,246


free market gas no. of withdrawal points   228,148 247,785


total no. of withdrawal points   1,406,834 1,420,718


domestic customers, low voltage no. of withdrawal points   1.338.868 1.348.757


non-domestic customers, low voltage no. of withdrawal points   298.736 298.399


customers at medium voltage no. of withdrawal points   2.851 2.862


customers at high voltage no. of withdrawal points   6 6


total no. of withdrawal points   1.640.461 1.650.024


WATER SALE AND DISTRIBUTION (main water Companies of Acea Group)  
Acea Ato 2 (**) no. of users   705,607 754,569


Acea Ato 5 no. of users   201,878 202,209


Gori no. of users   533,662 534,263


Gesesa no. of users   57,404 57,470


AdF (***) no. of users   233,440 234,089


Acque no. of users   329,973 342,259


Publiacqua (****) no. of users   402,370 405,786


Umbra Acque no. of users   234,850 235,946


total no. of users   2,699,177 2,766,591


Acea Ato 2 population served   3,705,99 3,791,167


Acea Ato 5 population served   455,164 450,434


Gori population served   1,395,841 1,392,279


Gesesa population served   110,316 110,093


AdF (*****) population served   380,463 377,648


Acque population served   734,898 735,059


Publiacqua (****) population served   1,217,083 1,234,292


Umbra Acque  population served   493,460 490,272


total population served   8,510,929 8,581,244


(*) The 2023 figure for withdrawal points in the free market electricity mass market includes 95,069 gradual protection withdrawal points (micro-enterprise category).

(**) The 2022 figure was adjusted following consolidation; this also led to the recalculation of the total no. of users; the 2023 figure includes an estimated portion relative to newly acquired municipalities.

(***) The 2023 figures for aqueduct, sewers and purification, as in previous years, were calculated using the criteria established in determination ARERA 5/2016, nonetheless also including the number of aqueduct exempt users.

(****) The 2022 figures were adjusted following consolidation; this also led to the recalculation of the total no. of users.

(*****) Figures for 2023 refer to the latest ISTAT population update in October 2023.

61 See the Annual report on the status of services and activities carried out, 2023 edition (on 2022 data), Structure, pricing and quality in the electricity sector, available online on the website of the Authority (ARERA).
62 The relevant national Authority accurately defines the energy market segments. See the ARERA website.
63 See the Annual report on the status of services and activities carried out, 2023 edition (on 2022 data), Structure, pricing and quality in the electricity sector, available online on the ARERA website.
64 As of Decree Law no. 124 of 26 October 2019, converted with amendments by Law no. 157 of 19 December 2019, which introduced the automatic recognition of the social bonus for financial hardship. For 2023, implementing Law no. 197 of 29 December 2022, the ISEE threshold was raised to € 15,000 for the purposes of accessing the electricity and gas bonus and the contribution value was redetermined in consideration of the ISEE figure. Additionally, as a consequence of Decree Law no. 34 of 30 March 2023, from April to 31 December 2023, the ISEE threshold for large families with four or more dependent children was increased from € 20,000 to € 30,000. Relative to the bonus for physical hardship, implementing the provisions of the Prime Ministerial Decree of 15 March 2023, a special one time contribution was provided to those already receiving the bonus as at 31 December 2022.
65 In order to obtain the bonus for economic hardship, it is sufficient to present the DSU each year (Dichiarazione Sostitutiva Unica - Single Substitute Declaration) and obtain an ISEE certificate; if the household meets the conditions that entitle it to the bonus, INPS, in compliance with privacy regulations, sends the necessary data to the Integrated Information System (IIS), managed by Acquirente Unico company, which cross-checks the data received with those relating to electricity supplies, enabling the automatic payment of the bonus to those entitled.
66 For customers with financial hardship and health problems reference is made to the number of customers who benefited from the bonus at least once during the year.
67 Pursuant to Decree Law no. 124 of 26 October 2019, converted with amendments by Law no. 157 of 19 December 2019.
68 Resolution 366/2021/R/com.