Osborne Clarke advised AGESP Energia S.r.l., a company operating in the marketing of energy carriers, in proceedings before the Court of Rome relating to the specific regulation, established by ARERA, concerning the effects of the switch of natural gas supply contacts, operated following the activation of the so-called default service.
In particular, with reference to the alleged obligation incumbent on the incoming supplier to acquire the credits claimed by the supplier of the default service against customers previously in arrears, as deriving from the TIVG (Consolidated Law on retail sales of natural gas and gas other than natural gas distributed through urban networks), the Court - accepting AGESP Energia S.r.l.'s defence - with decision no. 1068/2024 of 18 January 2024, ruled that such obligation exists only in the event of an express and formal irrevocable proposal to purchase the credits connected to the switching procedure formulated by the incoming supplier. Such assignment (and the consequent purchase of the credits) cannot be automatically inferred from the mere execution of the switching procedure regulated by ARERA by means of Resolution no. 64/2009 and subsequent Resolution no. 99/2011.
The decision assumes particular importance not only given the amount involved - in excess of Euro 5 million - but also given the regulation of the natural gas sector itself, being the first decision to deal with the issue, in the absence of any precedent in case law.