The seller within the framework of the supply contract with the final customer may be defined as the counterparty who guarantees:  the supply at the conditions established by the contract; the billing; and customer assistance.  The seller may not be a direct producer, and may not be a counterparty who purchases electricity or gas as a wholesaler to then resell it to the final customer.


The Ministry of Economic Development (MSE) authorises the connections for the distribution companies in relation to the distribution activity, namely, the transport and transformation of medium- and low-voltage power into electricity for delivery to the final users. The distributors are responsible for user connections (regardless of whether the users are regulated or unregulated) and connections of custom service. The distributors operate under a system of incentives and penalties, in order to ensure standard levels of service quality and continuity on their networks. The largest distributors are also required to undertake projects in relation to the user’s rational use of energy, in accordance with the objectives set by the Ministry of Productive Activities (Ministerial Decree of 20 July 2004) for the reduction of primary energy consumption.


È la persona fisica o giuridica che produce energia elettrica indipendentemente dalla proprietà dell’impianto di produzione (Art. 2 comma 18 D. Lgs 79/99). L’energia elettrica in Italia viene generata in parte attraverso fonti non rinnovabili come il carbone, il petrolio e il gas naturale e in parte grazie all’impiego di fonti rinnovabili. Il produttore può generare energia per autoconsumo, cioè per coprire le proprie necessità, o per  venderla sul mercato.

Wholesalers (traders)

Wholesalers are physical or legal persons who purchase and sell electricity, without exercising any activity of production and distribution within the European Union.

Compensation Fund for the Electricity Sector (CCSE)

The entity has the responsibility, for both electricity and gas, of collecting tariff components, and managing the disbursement of public subsidies, with the aim of ensuring the operation of the systems in conditions of competition, security, and reliability. The entity is also responsible for conducting technical inspections and accounting audits of the regulated entities (such as distributors, and sellers of electricity and gas).

Customers in the unrestricted market

These customers are final users who have the option of freely choosing their supplier and have elected to exercise that option. They are not subject to regulated tariffs, except for the transport, measurement and dispatch components, and they may acquire energy in various ways. As from July 2007, all final customers were free to leave the protected market and to move into the unrestricted market.

Protected customers

These are final retail customers (households) or small businesses, provided that when the business draws power as a small business, it does so through a low-voltage network. These customers choose to remain under the protected system, and to pay the tariffs regulated by the AEEGSI and not to transfer to the unrestricted market.

Ministry of Economic Development ( (MSE)

In addition to steering the activity of the AEEGSI and the energy sector in general, the Ministry of Economic Development grants concessions to distributors, issues the related conventions, and defines the strategy for the security and the cost-revenue breakeven of the national energy system. It also issues the Environmental Impact Assessment (“VIA”) for thermoelectric plants with thermal power in excess of 300 MW, on the basis of the streamlined procedure implemented under Law No. 55 of 9 April 2002.

Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity Gas and Water (AEEGSI)

Set up pursuant to Law No. 481 of 14 November 1995, the independent regulatory authority has the task of promoting the competition and the efficiency of the electricity and gas sectors.  In relation to the Energy Markets Manager (GME), the AEEGSI’s responsibilities include the definition of the rules for economic dispatch and the mechanisms for controlling market power.

Terna – Rete Elettrica Nazionale S.p.A.

The company is responsible for managing the electric system, and it thus handles: dispatch activity to ensure balance between the energy demanded and the energy produced; network maintenance; and network development. The company’s current structure is the result of the acquisition of the ownership and management of the high- and very-high-voltage national transmission network, with the latter portion of the network previously managed by GRTN. Terna is a joint-stock company publicly traded on Borsa Italiana, with its initial public offering concluded in June 2004.  At present, the largest shareholder is the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, which holds 29.99% of the shares.

Snam Rete Gas

Snam Rete Gas is the leading natural gas transport and dispatch company in Italy, and it owns almost all of the transport infrastructure in Italy (31,000 kilometres of high- and medium-pressure gas pipelines).

Energy Services Manager (GSE S.p.A.)

A state-controlled joint-stock company, GSE S.p.A. has a principal role in promoting and developing renewable sources in Italy, inclusive of the related incentives.  The sole shareholder of GSE S.p.A. is the Ministry of the Economy and Finance, which exercises its rights as a shareholder by taking into account the consultative input of the Ministry of Economic Development. The GSE controls two companies: the Single Buyer (Acquirente Unico S.p.A.) and the Energy Markets Manager (Gestore dei Mercati Energetici S.p.A.).

National Transmission Network Manager (GRTN)

This is the previous name of the Energy Services Manager (GSE S.p.A.) prior to the sale of a business unit to Terna S.p.A.

Single Buyer (Acquirente Unico S.p.A.) (

The Single Buyer (AU) is one of the two joint-stock companies controlled by GSE. The company is responsible for executing and managing the supply contracts for the customers in the regulated market, sourcing supply through various means (bilateral contracts, auctions, market exchanges, imports, and so forth).

The aim is to ensure the availability of electricity needed to meet the demand of all regulated customers, through the purchase of the energy capacity necessary and the resale of the same to distributors, at non-discriminatory conditions suitable for allowing the application of a single national tariff for the customers.

Energy Markets Manager (GME S.p.A.) (

company is charged with organising and managing the electricity market (Italian Power Exchange (IPEX)), the natural gas market, and the markets for the environment, in accordance with criteria of transparency and objectivity, so as to promote the competition between producers, while assuring the availability of an adequate level of power reserves.

Previously known as the Electricity Market Manager, the company’s name was changed on 19 November 2009. GME manages the day-ahead energy market (“MGP”), the infra-day market (“MI”), the dispatch services market (“MSD”) and the forward electricity market (“MTE”). GME also manages the markets for the environment (the market for Green Certificates, the market for Energy Efficiency Certificates, and the market for Emissions Certificates), and it has taken over management of the P-GAS platform, whose main purpose is to allow operators to comply with their obligation of offering on the regulated market a certain portion of gas imported from non-European countries, pursuant to Article 11, Paragraph 2 of Law No. 40 of 2 April 2007.