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Electricity does not exist in nature: it must therefore be produced, transforming the energy from primary sources into electricity. Electricity production in Italy still largely takes place using non-renewable sources (natural gas, coal and oil), although the development of renewable sources is constantly increasing: geothermal, hydroelectric, solar and wind energy.

In order to meet Italian energy requirements, electricity also needs to be purchased from other countries. Most of the electricity we import through the 25 interconnections with foreign countries comes from France and Switzerland.

The electricity production market is completely liberalised.

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Transmission and dispatching

The transmission of electricity the very high and high voltage grid is the basic function of our group. Through constant maintenance of the grid, its development and the interconnections with foreign countries, we ensure benefits not only for the entire Italian energy system, but also for the community. The high-voltage network is unique, which is why transmission takes place under a monopoly system.

The transmission system is complex and articulated:

  • AAT transformers (extra-high-voltage) receive energy from Italian electricity power stations or from border points and transform it;
  • the very high and high voltage power lines transport energy;
  • the transformer stations transform the high-voltage electricity into medium- and low-voltage electricity and transfer the transformed energy to the distribution companies.

Dispatching, for which we are responsible, is a central element for the proper functioning of the system.

By its very nature, electricity cannot be stored (projects to develop large-scale storage technologies have only recently started): that is why we must ensure that at all times the amount of energy produced and fed into the grid is equivalent to that consumed by businesses and households. The dispatching function therefore has the power as well as the responsibility to control a large and growing number of players, both on the production side and on the demand side, and in recent years also with respect to production from renewable sources, by their nature non-programmable.

Dispatching services include:

72.900 km

The power lines owned and operated by Terna

  • monitoring of electricity flows;
  • arrangements for managing the coordinated operation of all the elements of the system;


Our transformer and switching stations

  • programming of grid unavailability;
  • forecasting the Italian electricity requirement and comparing it consistently with production programmes resulting from the free energy market.

Terna’s Italian Control Centre manages dispatching activities for all of Italy.

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A complex network infrastructure allows the transport of electricity to the end user, through the primary substations (which transform high voltage electricity into medium voltage electricity), the secondary substations (from medium voltage to low voltage) and the transformers.

The distribution companies, operating under concessions, operate local, low-voltage electricity grids and maintain them.

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Sales companies, the final segment of the market, market electricity to agriculture, industrial and tertiary enterprises and to households.

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Our Return

The remuneration of the transmission and dispatching services ensured by Terna is based on a tariff system established by the Regulatory Authority for Energy, Networks and Environment (ARERA) through specific resolutions. The current tariff framework covers the period 2016-2023. At 5.6%, Terna’s remuneration is the lowest in the Italian electricity sector and is lower than the European average of 6.4%.


Transmission costs as a percentage of what the end user pays for electricity

One of the lowest compared with the European average

Transmission revenues represent the most significant portion of regulated revenues and derive from the application of the transmission fee (CTR), invoiced by Terna to distributors connected to the Italian Transmission Grid. The fee for the dispatching service (DIS), on the other hand, aims to remunerate Terna for the activities relative to dispatching and is invoiced by Terna to dispatching users.

The electricity bill

According to ARERA estimates, the electricity bill for a domestic consumer is divided as follows:

  • Cost of electricity, representing approximately 49.81% and made up of energy supply (41.63%) and retail marketing (8.18%)
  • Taxes of approximately 12.80%
  • Cost of system charges , amounting to around 19.38% of the bill
  • Cost of meter transport and management, representing approximately 18.01%, including the transmission cost (Terna’s business) of around 3.5% of the electricity bill

*Data updated in the first quarter 2019.

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