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A – Activities at national level

Cittadinanzattiva has been realising policies, partnerships, initiatives, informative campaigns, etc. in the consumerist field for many years now. The final aim is to promote a new approach to the consumers and users’ role, where citizens do not just delegate their own responsibility to consumer organisations but they are actively involved in the accessibility, quality and protection of services and products. The intent is to provide citizens with the right tools and methods of protection to enforce their rights, because Cittadinanzattiva believes that taking actions is the best way to be a citizen!

Among the consumer policies promoted by Cittadinanzattiva through its network of experts and volunteers (ITEN), the energy sector stands for a milestone in the organisation background, as the first activities in this field date back to 1996.
Furthermore, since 2000 Cittadinanzattiva is formally recognised at institutional level at the CNCU-National Council of Consumers and Users, a consultative body of the Ministry of Economic Development representing consumer and user associations nationwide.
In particular, in the past few years Cittadinanzattiva’s commitment has been focused on establishing an effective framework of rules within the energy market, where consumers are perfectly aware of their rights and live in a more innovative and transparent market.

On the topic of energy, Cittadinanzattiva works at different levels through:

1. Daily information activities, free assistance and advice to citizens thorugh the PiT service (Integrated Project of Citizen Protection), active since 1998 and promoted with the support of the European Commission DG Sanco (IT - EN). The PiT provides counseling, information and protection to citizens who encounter disruptions in several areas including electricity and gas, water and waste, transport and urban mobility, banking and insurance services, etc.

2. Annual evaluative reports and civic recommendations. The reports received by citizens (about 10 thousand annually through the PiT service) are processed in a final report presented publicly to the main stakeholders. It is a real analysis of the quality of service(s) based on the main difficulties encountered by citizens struggling with the supply of electricity and gas, the transition from protected to the free market, etc., combined with a set of practical proposals suggested by Cittadinanzattiva. In addition, each report is enriched with an analysis of the main trends emerging over the previous year.
In 2016 was published the XVI Annual Report by PiT Services was published. Cittadinanzattiva website hosts all the integral reports, along with their abstracts and thematic focuses.

  • 2017: Cittadinanzattiva has officially presented the XVI annual report on Energy and Environment
    Balance invoices, incorrect billings, missing invoices and requests for exorbitant arrears are just some of the main problems encountered by citizens when paying for energy, water and waste. During 2016, the billing has been the main critical area, and the sore point of the three-abovementioned fields at issue in the XVI Report presented today by PiT Services of Cittadinanzattiva - entitled "Proof-of-market consumers" - which focuses on energy and environment.
  • 2016: XVI Annual Report (IT), with a specific section about “Energy & Environment” (ITEN). To download the whole document, please click here (IT).
  • 2015: XV Annual Report (IT) with its related section about “Energy & Environment” (IT).
  • 2014: section “Energy & Environment” (ITEN) and a general comment (ITEN).
  • 2013: section “Intermittent Energy” (ITEN) and a general comment (ITEN).
  • 2012: XII annual report (IT - EN) with a specific section on energy (ITEN).
  • To read the reports of the previous years, click here.  

3. Institutional relations, stakeholder engagement and participation to round tables
Through its Responsible for energy policies – Tiziana Toto – Cittadinanzattiva participates to the following institutional round tables:

  • Auditions at the national Authority for Electric Energy and Gas. For instance, check “Contributo di Cittadinanzattiva all’audizione periodica dell’Autorità dell’Energia Elettrica e Gas” (IT).
  • Parliamentary auditions at the Chamber presso la Camera dei Deputati. For instance, check “Indagine conoscitiva sulla strategia energetica nazionale e sulle principali problematiche in materia di energia” (IT).
  • CNCU – AEEG Working group Users & Consumers’ National Committee – Italian Authority for Electric Energy and Gas at AEEG (IT).
  • Permanent round table to build an “Action plan for the environmental sustainability of consumption in the public administration sector” (PAN GPP) at the Ministry of the Environment (ITEN).
  • Statistical Users’ Committee at ISTAT-National Institute of Statistics (IT).
  • Consultative Committee for an Integrative Informative System at Acquirente Unico Spa (IT).
  • Users & Consumers’ working group (GLUC) established by Acquirente Unico Spa (IT).
  • Clients & Consumers’ Working Group established by GSE.
  • Consumers’ Forum: AEEG working group – Consumer association established by the Italian Authority for Electric Energy and Gas (IT).
  • Participation to round tables, establishment of partnerships and Memoranda of Understanding either with consortium, such as Confservizi and Ecodom-Consorzio Italiano Recupero e Riciclaggio Elettrodomestici, or relevant companies working at national or local level, such as A2A Energia (IT), Acea (IT), Edison (IT),  ENEL (IT), ENI (IT), E.ON Energia (IT), Hera (IT), Sorgenia (IT), etc.

4. Analyses, sector studies, insights and proposals concerning policies on energy

  • 2020: Webinar “Energy efficiency and fight against waste: how to become informed citizens”
    On September 30, 2020, Cittadinanzattiva and Sinergie have co-hosted an open webinar on the Facebook page of Cittadinanzattiva. The webinar was entitled Efficienza energetica e lotta allo spreco: come diventare cittadini consapevoli (“Energy efficiency and fight against waste: how to become informed citizens) and presented some best practices that every citizen could adopt to save energy, reduce waste, and safeguard the environment. The main areas of debate discussed responsible consumption, the reduction of consumption and reuse / recycling, prosuming, and new models of sustainable production.
    efficienza energetica
  • 2018: Citizens and companies for energy sustainability
    Last 28th June 2018, in the framework of the EU Sustainable Energy Week, Cittadinanzattiva realized in Rome an Italian Energy Day, presenting our research called “SI(e)NERGIA: cittadini e imprese per la sostenibilità energetica” ("SI(e)NERGY: citizens and companies for energy sustainability"), focused on better understand the level of awareness and engagement of citizens for energy sustainability, compared with the perception and the point of view of the main companies active in Italy on the topic. Here you can find the main figures and data, more details about the project, the programme of the event and the media coverage (IT language). 
  • 2016: Manifesto per l’energia del futuro (IT).
  • 2016: Proposte per il superamento del fenomeno maxi conguagli energia (IT).
  • 2016: Alleanza Italiana per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile (IT).
  • 2016: Rifiuti da Apparecchiature Elettriche ed Elettroniche (IT).
  • 2016: Fasce deboli e servizi pubblici locali: quali tutele per una vita sostenibile delle famiglie (IT); a sustainable life for economically disadvantaged families
  • 2014: Fasce deboli e servizi pubblici locali: a study by Cittadinanzattiva on weak social groups and local public services (IT - EN).
  • 2012: Energia e cronicità. La solidarietà sociale per l'abbattimento della fuel poverty (ITEN).
  • 2011: “Uno contro Uno. Conosciamo il valore di un rifiuto RAEE. Impariamo a gestirlo con responsabilità Impariamo a gestirlo con responsabilità” (IT).
  • 2007: Survey  on energy saving in the Italian hospitals (IT).
  • 2002: “Pronto, chi non parla?” a survey on the call center services offered by electrical energy and gas companies (IT).
  • The role of Acquirente Unico in the electricity market (EN).
  • An international recognition for AU and the entire Italian System (EN).

All the above mentioned analyses were possible thanks to the cooperation with the Observatory prices and tariffs of Cittadinanzativa, which has been monitoring tariffs – in particular on local public services - for more than 10 years now, to protect the right to sustainability and to preserve a correct and transparent information to citizens (ITEN).

5. Training, information, awareness and communication activities

  • 2020: “The role of citizens in achieving a low-carbon future” (EN), an article published in September 2020 by The Innovation Platform, in which the Director of Active Citizenship Network and the Responsible of the Energy Sector of Cittadinanzattiva discuss how citizens’ behavior can play a crucial role in energy efficiency and thus a low-carbon, climate resilient future.
  • 2016: “Rifiuti elettrici ed elettronici: come fare?”, a guide to inform citizens about the appropriate way to manage electrical and electronical waste (IT).
  • 2012: Collection of guides about electricity and gas (ITEN).
    • “The new energy market”, useful guide to the innovations introduced by liberalization and actors in the energy.
    • “The contract”, helpful guide to learn more before, during and after the signing.
    • “Understanding the bill”, useful guide to technical terms, acronyms and figures of the energy sector.
    • “Energy saving”, useful guide to become an efficient consumer of energy.
    • “Tools of protection”, useful guide to assert your rights.
  • 2010-2011: "Uno contro uno, conosciamo il valore di un rifiuto RAEE”, informative campaign on electrical and electronic waste management (IT).
  • 2011: “Facciamo luce”, tips on how to save money and understand electricity bills (IT).
  • “L'Energia solare è una forza della natura”, guide about solar energy with practical information on renewables, with the aim of fostering the use of photovoltaic technology and solar thermal energy (IT).
  • 2008: “Piccoli gesti per risparmiare alla grande”, tips to save energy, while cutting consumptions and costs (IT).
  • Training courses for mediators in the field of energy, supervisor of bill rates, volunteers and activists of Cittadinanzattiva, open meetings with citizens.
  • Publications on trade journals (e.g., specialised in electrical and electronic waste), editorials  (e.g., focusing on costs of electric bills), interviews (in 2016, e.g. about energy bonuses, free market&consumers’ protection, eco-friendly consumers, etc.).
  • Intense participation to conference as panelists (e.g. in 2016, XVI ITALIAN ENERGY SUMMIT, Convegno Annuale AIGET, conference about the free market etc.).
  • Weekly updates on energy issues through the newsletter Cittadinanzattiva Informa.
  • Regular column “Attivi per l’ambiente” su L’Ambiente, a trade journal.
  • Cittadinanzattiva’s website hosts a specific section on energy, where news, analyses, FAQs, press releases, annual reports, projects & campaigns, useful guides, paperwork & information on resolutions are regularly published.

6. Project activities at local and national level

  • 2016: "Luce sul canone", a project financed by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development to provide assistance after the decision of charging the Italian TV licence fee on the electricity bill. (IT).
  • 2016: “Bonus a sapersi”, informative campaign with 75 meetings nationwide to foster accessibility to energy bonuses for economically disadvantaged citizens. The project is financed by the Italian Authority for Energy, Gas and Water system (IT). Click here to watch the video (IT).
  • 2013: “La bolletta IsGas: guida alla lettura”, a project to understand gas bills, realised by Cittadinanzattiva-Sardinia in collaboration with IsGas (IT).
  • 2011-16: “Energia: diritti a viva voce”, a project resulted in the opening of 26 help centres in Italy to inform and assist citizens with electrical energy and gas services. The project has also foreseen two open days (“Giornata del consumatore informato”) to raise awareness about the initiative. The project was funded by the Italian Authority for Energy, Gas and Water system (IT).
  • 2010-2014: “Formazione agli operatori del call center” training course to call center operators working for Edison and Sorgenia.
  • 2010-2011: “Semplificazione della documentazione contrattuale”, a project aimed at simplifying contractual paperwork, which also resulted in new forms and Charter of Services of many companies, e.g.  Edison.
  • 2008: “Le giornate del sole”, informative campaign on renewables and energy saving to preserve the environment (IT).
  • 2008: “Isolando”, informative campaign on how to save money with thermal insulation (IT).
  • 2005-2007: “Energia negli ospedali”, a project on energy production and consumption from renewable resources in the Italian healthcare centres (IT).
  • 2006-2007: “Audit civico del servizio di call center di segnalazione guasti di illuminazione pubblica nel comune di Roma”, a civic assessment on maintenance contact centers for public lighting in Rome, realised by Cittadinanzattiva-Lazio together with the national Agency for the monitoring and evaluation of local public services in the city of Rome IT).
  • 2003-05: “Contatore intelligente” (IT).

B – Activities at European level

In the last few years, the European branch of Cittadinanzattiva-  Active Citizenship Network – has been committed to pursuing European policies and priorities in the field of energy. In particular, ACN has been committed to promote the civic point of view along with a high level of protection of citizens’ interests.  
For these reasons, it has promoted partnerships (e.g. it is board member of EKOenergy network), initiatives  in conjunction with the EU Sustainable Energy Week, and several EU projects, such as

  • 2014-2017: “CITIZENERGY-European citizens for renewable”, implemented in 9 countries with the support of Intelligent Energy Europe Programme of the EU Commission (IT - EN).
  • 2007-2008: “Valutazione civica delle Autorità nazionali di regolamentazione”1 realised in 8 countries with the support of the European Commission DG-Sanco (IT).
  • 2010-2012: “Young ideas for Europe”, a EU project, in two editions, whose aim was the involvement of students aged between 15 and 18 years old in the dialogue on Europe, by sharing their visions and views of a common European future. The second edition, in particular, focused on energy policies and climate changes happening in Europe. (IT).

In 2016 Cittadinanzattiva has received a prestigious award in the field of consumer policy for Cittadinanzattiva at national and European level, that is the election of its Director of European Affairs as a new full member of the European Consumer Consultative Group (ITEN), a consultative body supported by the EU Commission DG Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality.  Cittadinanzattiva will therefore represent the Italian consumer organisations within the Group, which is known to be composed of just one representative for each Member State. Read the official decision of the EU Commission on 18 August 2016, which also contains the nominations of the new members of European Consumer Consultative Group and of their deputies (2016/c 306/05) (ITEN).

2017: From the national to the EU level: increasing our commitment to energy policies! During 2017, the European Institutions, regulatory authorities, companies and the constituency of the energy sector has recognised Cittadinanzattiva Onlus as a main stakeholder in the field of energy at EU level. This is the result of our hard work and multi annual engagement at national and EU level in a series of relevant initiatives on the topic carried out by the EU branch of Cittadinanzattiva, Active Citizenship Network. These include, for instance….Read more.
2017: Cittadinanzattiva is now in the Energy Expert Group of the European Commission
In March 2017 DG Consumer has officially recognised Tiziana Toto, Responsible for Energy policies and Environment at Cittadinanzattiva Onlus as member of the energy sub-group of the European Consumer Consultative Group (ECCG). The ECCG is a consultative group set up by the European Commission, entrusted to represent the interests of consumers at the Commission and give opinions which established a sub-group on Energy as advisory body on energy and consumer issues. Read more.

EUSEW 2017: “A smart energy system for consumers, consumers for a smart energy system”
Last June, in the framework of the European Sustainable Energy Week 2017, Active Citizenship Network has co-organised the event “A smart energy system for consumers, consumers for a smart energy system”. It was promoted with three organisations: the European Committee of Domestic Equipment Manufacturers (CECED), the Smart Energy Demand Coalition (SEDC) and the European Environmental Citizens' Organization for Standardization (ECOS). A representative of the EU Consumer Association European Consumer Union (ECU) enriched the panel and allowed to discuss how the new Clean Energy for All Europeans package can help further stimulate the smart energy system for consumers, and encourage consumers to participate in a smart energy system. To know more about the conference, the speakers and to download the presentations, click here. To see the pictures visit our FB page.

2017: Cittadinanzattiva promoted at EU level the “Manifesto of the Energy for the Future”
The European Sustainable Energy Week 2017 was the occasion for Cittadinanzattiva to present, for the first time at EU level, the “Manifesto of the Energy for the Future”, created in Italy by consumer organisations and energy companies. The Manifesto presents “the market that we want” and indicates the four key points around which a consumer-oriented energy market should be built: savings, sustainability, innovation, nobody should be left behind. The Manifesto is a model of co-regulation and partnership that, in the distinction of role and responsibility, represents a work that aims to enhance the active role of citizens and consumers in the development of the European Single Market. With regard to this process that tends to build a single energy market, Cittadinanzattiva Onlus has chosen not to be passive or indifferent but to play an active role.
The promoters of the Manifesto will lead initiatives in the coming months with the aim to support the implementation of the Italian Competition Law, to make the customers aware of the new market scenario and to take advantage of all the opportunities. To read the Manifesto click here.
2017: Read the ACN Newsletter special edition on energy issues

2017: Cittadinanzattiva Onlus is part of the advisory board of the new EU Project “STAR-ProBio”
The Responsible for Energy policies and Environment at Cittadinanzattiva Onlus and the Director of Active Citizenship Network were appointed to the External Advisory Board of the multi annual project “STAR-ProBio” to represent Italian issues. STAR-PROBIO constitutes a multidisciplinary and multi-actor collaborative project that will meet environmental, social and economic challenges, paving the way for a much-needed sustainability transition towards a bio-based economy. To know more, click here.

2017: Cittadinanzattiva Onlus participated for the first time in the Citizens Energy Forum
Invited by the European Commission-DG Consumers, Cittadinanzattiva Onlus participated in the Ninth Citizens' Energy Forum in London on 30-31 May. The forum focused mainly on the Clean Energy for all Europeans Package and on how to encourage consumers to be more active. To know more about the forum conclusions, click here.

2017: Cittadinanzattiva Onlus invited at the round table on EU energy label
Last 19th of September, Cittadinanzattiva Onlus participated in the first round table meeting in Brussels that was realised in the framework of the “DigiLabel” EU project. The aim of the project is to make the EU energy label easier to understand and more readily available in-store and online. After a year of work, a group of expert advisors composed of retailers, manufacturers, consumer representatives and other stakeholders were invited to discuss the digital tool designed by the project (PocketWatt) and the findings of consumer research made in Spain and Germany about the acceptance of such a tool. To read more about the project, click here.

2018: Cittadinanzattiva at the 10th Citizens' Energy Forum
Last 20-21 September in Dublin, invited by EU Commission, Cittadinanzattiva attended the 10th Citizens' Energy Forum. This year's edition focused on the role of consumers in the energy market in the context of the measures proposed by the Clean Energy for all Europeans package and the recently adopted New Deal for Consumers package. In the session “Energy start-ups: What new value for consumers?” it was also illustrated the experience of EU project Citizenergy, the European platform for citizen investment in renewable energy, in which was involve also the EU branch of Cittadinanzattiva, Active Citizenship Network. To know more about this initiative click here.


2018: Cittadinanzattiva-Active Citizenship Network in the CropBooster Stakeholder Group
It will start in November the new H2020 project titled “Preparatory action to Boost Global Crop Yield for Food & Nutrition Security and to Fuel a Bioeconomy [CropBooster-P]”, under the Sustainable Food Security call “Future proofing our plants”. Cittadinanzattiva-Active Citizenship Network as well European Consumer Union (ECU) has been officially involved in the CropBooster Stakeholder Group which first meeting is planned for the next March 2019.

2019: 11th Citizens’ Energy Forum
Last 12-13 September in Dublin, invited by EU Commission, Cittadinanzattiva attended for the third year in a row the annual Citizens' Energy Forum, hosted in the Aviva Stadium. This year the Focus was focused on youth and climate change and -for the first time - the European Commission decided to invite students and youth organisations to take part in the debates.
The meeting hosted three different panels, dedicated to “Engaging citizens in the energy transition for consumers”, “Sustainable finance for greener and cleaner energy”, “The next step in the energy transition for consumers”. To know more, click here.

2020: Cittadinanzattiva - Active Citizenship Network for NUDGE
Since September 2020, Cittadinanzattiva - through its EU branch Active Citizenship Network – has been actively participating to the Project “NUDging consumers towards enerGy Efficiency through behavioral science” (NUDGE). The project is funded by the EU’s funding programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020 (EASME’s call LC-SC3-EC-4-2020). NUDGE has a planned duration of 36 months and will be carried out by a multidisciplinary team of 10 partners, with trials taking place in 5 different EU countries. Taking into consideration the Italian situation with regard to matters concerning renewable energies and also given the EU’s position on the importance of energy efficiency, Cittadinanzattiva decided to join the NUDGE consortium as the only Italian participant.

Overall, the project’s objective is to systematically assess and fully unleash the potential of behavioral interventions towards achieving higher energy efficiency, paving the way to the generalized use of such interventions as a worthy addition to the policy-making toolbox.


C – Major achievements

Generally speaking, thanks to its constant commitment over the years, and to its accountable and oriented approach, Cittadinanzattiva has developed a series of activities aimed at strengthening protection in the field of energy, in terms both of resolutions and attention to economically disadvantaged people. Furthermore, its work has contributed to getting recognitions both by Institutions and relevant companies, which now identify Cittadinanzattiva as a main stakeholder in the energy sector.
All of the above has also helped to achieve significant benefits for citizens, among which:

  • A progressive transition from self-regulation to civic regulation. Thanks to several partnerships with some electric companies, we were able to train the management teams within these companies on relevant consumerist topics and on the civic point of view, as well as their communication officers.
    On the other hand, we were able to train call center operators as well.
  • High level of protection for weak social groups. Upon our suggestion, the national  Authority for the Electric Energy and Gas has amended the amount of electric bonuses according to the consumption needs of families with electro-medical equipment.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolutions were also introduced in the energy sector. The obligation to reconcile any energetic disputes has come into force in 2017.

Of course, little by little, the initiatives undertaken within the energy sector have matched the activities promoted by Cittadinanzattiva about environmental issues (water system and waste management), climate change, sustainable mobility, health, resolutions.
To learn more, visit the following sections of Cittadinanzattiva’s website:

  • Climate change: the commitment of Cittadinanzattiva (ITEN).
  • The policy of Cittadinanzattiva on mobility and transport (IT - EN).
  • To learn more about the thematic files on water systems and waste management, visit the specific section of the Observatory prices and tariffs of Cittadinanzattiva (ITEN).
  • Cittadinanzattiva policy on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) (ITEN).
    • Mediation and resolutions (IT). Equal resolutions (IT).
    • Resolution enquiries within the energy sector(IT) with related FAQs (IT) and news (IT)

(last update: September 2019)

1. “Consumer Organizations and General Interest Services: for a Citizens’ Evaluation of National Regulatory Authorities”.
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