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Operating performance


The main operating figures of the Italgas Group in 2020 are shown below.


In 2020, technical investments were made for €777.5 million (2019: € 740.0 million, up by 5.1%), of which € 26.5 million relating to leases accounted for in accordance with IFRS 16.

(€ Million)20192020ABS. CHANGECHANGE %
Network development and maintenance 360.6455.895.226.4
– of which digitisation39.784.945.2 
New networks 102.4113.110.7
– of which Sardinia82.8100.7
Other investments97.5
– of which Real Estate32.4
– of which ICT25.8
– of which the effect of IFRS 1639.4

Metering investments (€ 120.8 million, -32.7% compared to the same period of 2019) refer primarily to the final stage of the plan to replace traditional meters with smart meters, which is estimated to be completed within the early months of 2021,
ahead of the new Authority provisions.

Key operating figures – Italgas Group

2019 2020 ABS. CHANGE CHANGE %
Active meters (millions) 7.573 7.595 0.0 0.3
Installed meters (millions) 8.464 8.515 0.1 0.6
Municipalities with gas distribution concessions (no.) 1,816 1,826 10.0 0.6
Municipalities with gas distribution concessions in operation (no.) 1,730 1,743 13.0 0.8
Distribution network (kilometres) 70,502 71,185 683.3 1.0
Gas distributed (million cubic metres) (milioni di metri cubi) 8,001 8,477 476.0 5.9

Key operating figures – Italgas Group and affiliates

2019 2020 ABS. CHANGE CHANGE %
Active meters (millions) 7.694 7.749 0.1 0.7
Installed meters (millions) 8.597 8.684 0.1 1.0
Municipalities with gas distribution concessions (number) 1,830 1,887 57 3.1
Municipalities with gas distribution concessions in operation (no.) 1,744 1,804 60 3.4
Distribution network (kilometres) 71,761 73,058 1,297 1.8
Gas distributed (million cubic metres) (milioni di metri cubi) 8,897 8,727 (170) (1.9)


As of 31 December 2020, the number of active meters at delivery points, also considering the affiliates over which it does not exercise control, amounted to7,749 million (7,694 as of 31 December 2019).

Excluding the affiliates, the total number of active meters is 7.595 million (7.573 million as of 31 December 2019). The legislation on remote meter reading (Resolution No. 631/2013/R/gas as amended) defines the objectives, differentiated by calibre, of electronic meters put into service. These objectives have been modified on multiple occasions over time (Resolution ARG/gas no. 155/08 and Resolution no. 669/2018/R/gas), most recently by Resolution no. 501/2020/R/gas that deferred achievement of the minimum replacement target for companies with over 200 thousand clients by one year, taking into account the difficulties of replacement caused by the COVID-19 health emergency26.

In order to comply with these obligations and subsequent updates relating to the commissioning of smart meters, in 2020 the Italgas Group, also considering the affiliates over which Italgas does not exercise control, installed 1,251.8 thousand new meters, of which 822.6 thousand to replace traditional meters and 429.3 thousand to replace digital meters with anomalies. Excluding the affiliates over which it does not exercise control, in 2020 Italgas installed 1,220.4 thousand new meters, of which 793.3 thousand to replace traditional meters and 427.1 million to repair digital meters with anomalies, bringing the current total of smart meters to around 7,490.6 thousand, equal to approximately 88% of the entire stock of active and inactive meters (8,514.7 thousand).

Municipalities in concession and Local tender areas27


The following figure shows the presence of the Italgas Group in Italy28.

As of 31 December 2020, as a result of the regulatory framework envisaging the award of gas distribution services through local tenders (and not by individual municipality), 34 tender notices have been published, of which only fourteen sent to the Authority, as envisaged in Ministerial Decree no. 226/2011.

Of the 34 tenders:

  • TURIN 3 – South West, MASSA CARRARA, BIELLA, CREMONA 2 – Centre and CREMONA 3 – South aggregates, COMO 1 – Lariano, Brianza, Comasca Triangle, BERGAMO 3 – Suburbs West of Bergamo and BRESCIA 1 – North – West have been suspended by the Contracting Authorities;
  • VENICE 1 – Laguna Veneta and ALESSANDRIA 2 – Centrewere cancelled by the State Council and by the Piedmont Regional Administrative Court (TAR) respectively;
  • MONZA AND BRIANZA 2 – West and LUCCA, were revoked by the respective contracting Authorities.
  • TURIN 1 – City of Turin is in the course of being awarded;
  • MILAN 1 – City and Plant of Milan has been awarded;
  • TURIN 2 – Turin plant, VALLE D’AOSTA and BELLUNO were officially awarded to Italgas Reti on 23 April 2019, 2 January and 1 June 2020 respectively;
  • NAPLES 1 – City of Naples and coastal plant is in the course of being awarded.

With regard to the award of the natural Gas distribution service in the “Valle d’Aosta” area, two other operators have requested annulment of the final award to Italgas Reti. With ruling no. 39/2020 of 14 July 2020, published on 1 September 2020, the Regional Administrative Court of Valle d’Aosta rejected the appeal filed by one of the other operators participating in the tender procedure for the annulment of the decision awarding the tender to Italgas Reti. With an appeal served on 2 September 2020, the operator placed third in the tender for the Aosta ATEM reinstated before the Regional Administrative Court of Lombardy the original appeal filed before the Regional Administrative Court of Aosta, aimed at obtaining annulment of the final awarding of the tender to Italgas Reti. Italgas Reti filed an appearance, filing a cross-appeal against the failure to exclude this operator. The outcome of the hearing of 24 February 2021 is currently pending.

With reference to the appeal filed by the runner-up operator in the context of the awarding of the tender for the Belluno ATEM to Italgas Reti, the company filed an appearance on 14 July 2020. Given the Contracting Authority’s commitment not to proceed with the signing of the service contract until the dispute has been settled on the merits, the plaintiff waived its interlocutory application. The hearing to discuss the merits has been set for 16 June 2021. Pending this, with a ruling of 7 December 2020, the Regional Administrative Court of Veneto rejected the appeal brought by the Municipality of Feltre and other municipalities belonging to the Belluno ATEM (Minimum Territorial Area), with which they requested the annulment of the decision by which the Municipality of Belluno had awarded the ATEM tender to Italgas Reti.

On 30 November 2020, the delivery of plants to the Council of Castel San Giorgio was signed; this had been officially awarded to Italgas Reti on 21 August 2020.

On 22 December 2020, the Council of Prato, as Contracting Authority, published notice in the Official Journal of the European Union of the restricted tender procedure for award of the Gas distribution service in the territorial area called PRATO, with the deadline of 29 January 2021 for the presentation of applications to participate. At present, the management of the public methane Gas distribution service is entrusted to Toscana Energia.


On 25 July 2019, Publiservizi S.p.A. served a summons on Italgas, alleging violation of a shareholders’ agreement entered into by Italgas, Publiservizi S.p.A. and other Municipalities holding stakes in Toscana Energia S.p.A. on 28 June 2018. The first hearing, held on 14 January 2020 before the Court of Florence, was adjourned until 6 May 2020. Italgas, which entered an appearance within the legal term, raised all the objections required to prove that the counterparty’s claims were groundless. The parties are exchanging briefs in which Italgas has filed further documents to support its objections and defence and has formulated various preliminary statements. The hearing for the discussion of the preliminary requests was adjourned due to the ongoing health emergency, to 25 November 2020 and, thereafter, to 28 April 2021.

With reference to the dispute with the Municipality of Rome concerning the implementation of the Business Plan, in Order no. 3834/2020 published on 19 June 2020, the Council of State upheld the precautionary appeal filed by Italgas Reti, suspending the effects of the ruling in which the Municipality of Rome requested the payment of penalties by Italgas Reti, until the decision on the matter.

With a subsequent appeal to the Court of Cassation, Italgas requested that the jurisdiction of the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio or ordinary court be established. The hearing was scheduled for 15 December 2020 and, with an order of 12 January 2021, the Court of Cassation declared the jurisdiction of the ordinary court. Italgas therefore resumed the proceedings before the Court of Rome on 11 February 2021. The next hearing is scheduled for 1 July 2021.

On 5 July 2020, Italgas Reti filed an appeal before the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio, requesting that the Municipality of Rome be ordered to pay compensation for non-fulfilment of the concession contract entered into on 20 November 2012 for the public methane Gas distribution service. The setting of a date for the hearing by the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio is currently pending.

On 18 November 2019, the Lombardy Regional Administrative Court, in Ruling no. 2430/2019, upheld the appeals filed by Italgas Reti on various grounds against: i) Resolution no. 98/2016 for the part relating to the recalculation of the Company’s reference tariffs for the years 2009-2014; ii) Resolution no. 99/2016 relating to the 2015 tariffs and iii) Resolution no. 494/2018 for the part relating to the non-recognition of the extra-remuneration of the investments made by the Company in the Municipality of Rome, with reference to the years 2009 and 2010. ARERA appealed against this last decision, with notice served on 11 February 2020 and filed on 13 February 2020. The Company entered an appearance within the legal term. The discussion hearing has not yet been scheduled.

In Ruling no. 28249 of 27 May 2020, published on 8 June 2020, the Antitrust Authority decided to launch an investigation to verify whether Italgas Reti, the current operator of the Gas distribution service in several municipalities in the Province of Venice, has abused its dominant position as exclusive concessionaire of the service in order to significantly inhibit or delay the planned competitive procedure for assigning the service in the minimum territorial area including such municipalities (ATEM VENICE 1). The company undertook to provide the Antitrust Authority with the necessary clarifications. On 1 October 2020, Italgas Reti filed a set of commitments. The Antitrust Authority approved the publication of these with Order no. 28371 of 20 October 2020. Therefore, on that date, the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) admitted the commitments for the market test, setting the deadline for submitting comments at 20 November 2020. Italgas Reti then had the opportunity to examine the comments received and to submit an integrated commitment proposal on 21 December 2020 in the light of the feedback received.

In Ruling no. 197/2020 of 17 June 2020, published on 19 June 2020, the Friuli Venezia Giulia Regional Administrative Court partially upheld the appeal brought by Italgas Reti against the Council of Pordenone, to ascertain the company’s right of ownership of the portion of the network built up to 31 December 1985, returned free of charge at the expiry of the concession, and of the portion of the network laid within the housing development plans for which private individuals were granted deduction of the primary urbanisation costs until the actual expiry of assignment.

In particular, the Regional Administrative Court: (i) ascertained the Company’s right to retain ownership of the network returned free of charge upon the effective cessation of the concession currently under the prorogatio system pursuant to the law, cancelling the deeds whereby the Council had entered said assets as its own and, at the same time, (ii) ascertained the Council’s right to obtain ownership of the network developed by the Company under the scope of the housing development plans with deduction of the urbanisation costs. The Council has appealed to the Council of State asking that the ruling be overturned.

With reference to the dispute with the Council of Venice about the possible fee to be paid for the use of the assets constituting “Block A” following the hearing of 29 December 2020, we are currently awaiting a court ruling regarding to the preliminary proceedings.

It should be noted, finally, that the hearings related to the ongoing litigation with the Municipality of Cerro Maggiore following the criminal proceedings started in 2015 and with the Municipality of Andria regarding the increase in the concession fee, were adjourned to 19 April 2021 and 4 February 2022 respectively.

Similar to the action taken by the Municipality of Venice following the rulings of the Council of State of 2 April 2019 on the confirmation of the free acquisition of the so-called “Block A”, the Municipality of Cavallino Treporti took legal action against Italgas Reti before the Court of Venice, for the verification and consequent payment of the fee for use of the portion of network subject to free acquisition. At the hearing of 17 December 2020, the judge adjourned the case until the hearing of 1 April 2021 for the admission of preliminary evidence.

26 For more details on the Authority provisions following the COVID-19 emergency, reference is made to the paragraph on “Coronavirus Emergency – main Authority provisions” on page 153. 
27 For more information on the regulation concerning the assignments of Gas distribution service and the related call for tenders, please see the specific paragraph in the chapter “Legislative and regulatory framework” on page 87.
28 The territorial presence where Italgas exercises control is shown in blue, the presence through affiliates over which it does not exercise control is shown in light green.
29 Further information is provided in Note 26 “Disputes and other measures” to the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.