Geothermal to reduce heating prices in Ferrara, Italy by up to 25%

Geothermal to reduce heating prices in Ferrara, Italy by up to 25% Ferrara dalla torre del castello (source: flickr/ malexorg, Alessio Milan, creative commons)
Carlo Cariaga 28 Oct 2022

A newly signed heating tariff in Ferrara, Italy with fixed rates coming from geothermal energy will reduce bills by around 25% in the next 12 months.

The Municipality of Ferrara in the region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy and Gruppo Hera has presented a new way of calculating heating tariffs, taking into consideration a fixed rate for the part of the heat produced by geothermal energy, typically at around 40% of the total. With geothermal heating being cheaper by about 50% to 70% to projected gas prices in the coming winter, residents can expect an overall reductions in bills by between 20% to 30% in the coming 12 months.

The new district heating rates were announced in a meeting in the municipal residence attended by the Municipal Councilor for the Environment Alessandro Balboni, the manager of the Environmental Quality Service of the Municipality Alessio Stabbelini, and the Central Market Director and CEO OF Gruppo Hera Cristian Fabbri.

In late 2019, Gruppo Hera took over the geothermal power plant of Casaglia in Italy following a public tender. Hera is also the manager of the district heating service in Ferrara, making this acquisition strategic in supplying geothermal district heating.

The new tariff structure consolidates the economic advantage derived from geothermal heating and adds to the discount of EUR 1.5 million already recognized for the first part of the year.

The fixed price component from geothermal will be determined based on the volume of energy produced annually from geothermal resources. This will then be applied to the calculation of bills relating to heat consumption of the calendar year. At the end of the year, an adjustment will be applied based on the actual contribution of geothermal energy. Considering the projection of gas prices in the coming winter, this intervention will bring a benefit to the citizens and businesses in Ferrara with a value of EUR 8 to 16 million from October 2022 to September 2023.

“We are proud of the result obtained, because on this basis we will be able to continue investing in a unique local energy system over the next few years. A system that, today more than ever, represents a competitive and environmentally sustainable choice and that will enable the decarbonization process of this territory in an increasingly decisive way,” said Cristian Fabbri.

“ What was signed today is an important and particularly significant agreement. Our territory is located above a large geothermal field and the enhancement of this renewable and local energy source is a goal for us, especially in such a delicate and difficult time for energy costs. Thanks to a work that lasted months, we disconnected the cost of geothermal energy from that of gas with a positive response on the bills of the 25 thousand housing units connected to district heating,” said Mayor Alan Fabbri.

” Families and businesses in our area will benefit from a fixed price for the geothermal part, which by a convention signed by the previous administration was instead linked to the price of gas and had risen with the fluctuations of the last period. Now with this intervention that enhances a local and renewable energy source, the estimate is that companies and families connected to district heating will save between 12 and 16 million euros in the thermal year 2022/23, thanks to a reduction in their bills up to 20 / 25%,” said Alessandro Balboni.

“This is a unique intervention at national level, because unlike other territories it gives answers for the years to come and is not satisfied with one-off actions. With this intervention we are giving an answer to businesses and citizens who were waiting for concrete support in a time of crisis in energy prices. The intervention, which disconnects the price of gas from the cost of the geothermal portion of district heating, will be retroactive, with validity from 1 October. The Ferrara agreement is the first agreement on the fixed price of geothermal energy and aims to be a model also for the protection of renewable sources to ensure that they do not have to pay the gas tariff rule.” concluded Balboni.

Source: Ferrara24Ore