4. external costs – 2,109,768 thousand euros

This item showed an overall decrease of 295,902 thousand euros (-12.3%) compared to 31 December 2013 which closed with 2,405,669 thousand euros.

€ thousand31.12.201431.12.2013 RestatedIncrease / (Decrease)Increase / (Decrease) %
Electricity, gas and fuel 1,746,466 2,042,068 (295,602) (14.5%)
Materials 27,541 28,409 (868) (3.1%)
Services 234,861 228,983 5,878 2.6%
Concession fees 43,115 40,985 2,130 5.2%
Cost of leased assets 23,907 23,801 106 0.4%
Other operating costs 33,877 41,423 (7,546) (18.2%)
Consolidated operating costs 2,109,768 2,405,669 (295,902) (12.3%)

Costs for electricity, gas and fuel

€ thousand31.12.201431.12.2013 RestatedIncrease / (Decrease)
Purchase of electricity 1,145,884 1,365,667 (219,782)
Purchase of gas 16,676 25,434 (8,758)
Transport of electricity and gas 552,038 650,250 (98,212)
White certificates 30,995 0 30,995
green certificates and CO2 rights 873 717 156
Total 1,746,466 2,042,068 (295,602)

The change was mainly due to: i) lower costs relating to the procurement of electricity for the protected and free market and the related transportation costs (219,782 thousand euros and 98,212 thousand euros respectively) due to the combined effect of the lower amount of electricity distributed and sold and the different price/quantity mix in the various months and time brackets; these effects were partially offset ii) by payables to the Equalisation Fund for EEB in the Acea Distribuzione portfolio to cover the 2013 and 2014 obligation (30,995 thousand euros).

Materials

Costs for materials amount to 27,541 thousand euros and represent the cost of materials used during the period net of capital expenditure, as shown in the table below.

€ thousand31.12.201431.12.2013 RestatedIncrease / (Decrease)Increase / (Decrease) %
Purchase of materials 43,973 50,518 (6,545) (13.0%)
Change in inventories 4,069 1,827 2,242 122.7%
Change in inventories 48,042 52,345 (4,302) (8.2%)
Capitalised costs (20,501) (23,935) 3,434 (14.3%)
Total 27,541 28,409 (868) (3.1%)

Capitalised costs posted a decrease of 3,434 thousand euros basically attributable to ACEA Distribuzione (-2,455 thousand euros) and ACEA Ato2 (-507 thousand euros).

The costs for materials incurred by the operating segments are detailed below.

€ thousand31.12.201431.12.2013 RestatedIncrease / (Decrease)Increase / (Decrease) %
Environment 5,346 4,851 495 10.3%
Energy 481 1,055 (574) (54.5%)
Water 13,522 14,164 (643) (4.5%)
Networks 7,243 7,601 (358) (4.7%)
Parent Company 951 739 212 28.7%
Costs for materials 27,541 28,409 (868) (3.1%)

Services and contracts

This item totalled 234,861 thousand euros, up by 5,878 thousand euros with respect to 228,983 thousand euros at 31 December 2013. The breakdown of the item is detailed below:

€ thousand31.12.201431.12.2013 RestatedIncrease / (Decrease)Increase / (Decrease) %
Technical and administrative services (including consultancy e freelance work) 46,489 38,603 7,886 20.4%
Contract work 43,245 46,507 (3,263) (7.0%)
Disposal and transport of sludge, slag, ash and waste 27,395 28,341 (945) (3.3%)
Other services 26,414 21,715 4,699 21.6%
Payroll services 16,429 16,656 (226) (1.4%)
Insurance costs 13,104 14,361 (1,257) (8.8%)
Electricity, water and gas consumption 9,529 9,967 (438) (4.4%)
Internal use of electricity 8,461 7,773 688 8.9%
Intragroup services 7,617 5,766 1,851 32.1%
Telephones and data transmission costs 5,977 7,503 (1,526) (20.3%)
Postal expenses 5,976 5,867 109 1.9%
Maintenance fees 4,590 4,006 584 14.6%
Cleaning, transport and porterage 4,264 4,832 (568) (11.8%)
Advertising and sponsorship costs 3,851 5,481 (1,630) (29.7%)
Corporate bodies 3,702 4,727 (1,025) (21.7%)
Meter readings 2,756 2,094 661 31.6%
Bank charges 2,265 2,490 (225) (9.0%)
Travel and accommodation expenses 1,311 1,108 204 18.3%
Seconded staff 1,290 771 519 67.3%
Printing costs 196 415 (220) (52.8%)
Costs for services 234,861 228,983 5,878 2.6%

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Concession fees

These fees amounted to 43,115 thousand euros (+2,130 thousand euros compared to 31 December 2013) and regard fees paid by companies that manage certain areas of Lazio and Campania under concession.

The following table shows a breakdown by Company, compared to the previous year.

€ thousand31.12.201431.12.2013 RestatedIncrease / (Decrease)Increase / (Decrease) %
ACEA Ato2 35,632 33,364 1,968 5.8%
ACEA Ato5 7,089 6,984 105 1.5%
Gesesa 343 286 57 19.9%
Crea Gestioni 51 52 (1) 0.0%
Concession fees 43,115 40,985 2,130 5.2%

Reference is made to the section entitled “Service concession arrangements”.

Cost of leased assets

This item amounted to 23,907 thousand euros and is substantially in line with the previous year (23,801 thousand euros at 31 December 2013).

The following table illustrates the changes by operating segment: 

€ thousand31.12.201431.12.2013 RestatedIncrease / (Decrease)Increase / (Decrease) %
Environment 1,069 1,444 (374) (25.9%)
Energy 3,563 3,481 82 2.4%
Water 5,310 4,896 414 8.5%
Networks 4,193 4,663 (470) (10.1%)
Parent Company 9,771 9,318 453 4.9%
Cost of leased assets 23,907 23,801 106 0.4%

This item comprises lease payments of 11,173 thousand euros (11,982 thousand euros at 31 December 2013) and charges for other lease payments and rentals totalling 12,734 thousand euros (11,819 thousand euros at 31 December 2013).

Other operating costs

This item totalled 33,877 thousand euros at 31 December 2014 and fell by 7,546 thousand euros.

The following table provides details of this item by type:

€ thousand31.12.201431.12.2013 RestatedIncrease / (Decrease)Increase / (Decrease) %
General and administrative expenses 3,191 11,735 (8,543) (72.8%)
Taxes and duties 12,555 11,300 1,255 11.1%
Non-recurring losses 13,010 12,076 934 7.7%
Contributions paid and membership fees 3,398 3,816 (419) (11.0%)
Damages and outlays for legal disputes 1,352 1,436 (83) (5.8%)
Losses on assets disposals 370 1,060 (689) (65.0%)
Total Other operating costs 33,877 41,423 (7,546) (18.2%)

The change in the period was mainly due to the decrease in general expenses by Acea Energia regarding costs recorded in 2013 and no longer present in 2014.