Italy: Italy - Article On EPCs

Last Updated: 28 August 2008
Article by Clifford Chance Global Environmental Group

Incomplete implementation of the EU Energy Performance Directive in Italy has caused complexity and confusion. New national legislation is now being progressed to resolve matters.

Research published by the European Union, shows that more than one-fifth of current energy consumption and the emission of up to 30-45M tonnes of carbon dioxide per year could be saved by 2010 by applying more ambitious standards to new and refurbished buildings, a considerable contribution to meeting the Kyoto targets. As the EU is under pressure to strengthen legislation relating to improving the "energy performance of buildings", Member States are still getting to grips with implementing the 2002 Directive on the subject1. In this article, we take a look at the implementing process in Italy.

Implementation of this Directive was supposed to occur by 4 January 2006 but this has so far only been partially implemented in Italian law creating an incomplete framework in respect of the technical aspects of the provisions causing confusion and unnecessary complexity (this is discussed further below). New secondary legislation was proposed in March 2008 which will hopefully complete the implementation of the Directive and remove the continuing confusion. We have described the framework as implemented in Italy so far below.

Basic Requirements for Energy Performance Certificates

An "Energy Certificate" must be issued in relation to particular categories of buildings, and:

  • Attached by the seller to the deed upon any transfer for value of its ownership of a building,
  • Provided by the building contractor upon completion of prescribed construction or restoration works of a building
  • Made available or delivered to the tenant by the owner of the property if the property is to be leased but only where the building has already obtained an Energy Certificate under the above provisions.

Decree 192/2005 defines an Energy Certificate as "the document (...) evidencing the energy performance [of a building], and any measurements of energy performance that the building may feature".

An Energy Certificate is valid for ten years but is to be revised any time modification works that affect energy performance of the building are carried out.

Transitional provisions

Transitional provisions apply to bring these requirements into force depending on the "category" of building concerned:

  • Construction of new, or modification of existing buildings or demolition and subsequent reconstruction of buildings where the request for authorisation to carry out the works has been filed with the competent authorities after 8 October 2005.
  • Upon any transfer for value of the whole property of existing buildings:
  • of usable space of more than 1,000 square metres from 1 July 2007.
  • of usable space of at least 1,000 square metres, from 1 July 2008.
  • upon any transfer for value of individual units within a building, irrespective of usable space and type of use (e.g., residential apartments, offices) from 1 July 2009.

In addition, from 1 January 2007, energy certification has been a necessary condition to securing tax incentives for the restructuring of buildings made to improve energy efficiency.


Italy has incorporated the following exclusions from the requirement to obtain energy certificates as permitted under the 2002 Directive:

  • Buildings of cultural or artistic importance.
  • Industrial, agricultural and craftsmen's buildings not used as residential properties, where the interiors are heated solely to meet the requirements of the production process or use waste energy from the production process that could not otherwise be used.
  • Individual buildings with a total usable surface area of less than 50 square metres.

Subject to certain limitations, all transfers of buildings for value require an Energy Certificate to be appended. These include transfers resulting from sale and purchase agreements (to be attached upon the transfer deed) but go much wider including for example transfers of easements relating to a building or transfers of right of common (to build or maintain a building on another's land).

No Energy Certificate is needed for the creation of mortgage and security interests, gifts and gratuitous dealings and preliminary agreements for sale and purchase (but see above in respect of the subsequent transfer).

Implications of Energy Certificates

There are some important implications for breaching the requirements to provide Energy Certificates depending on the source of the requirement. If the Energy Certificate is not attached to the transfer deed (or not made available or delivered in the event of a lease) the purchaser of the building or the tenant may determine that the agreement is void (nullità relativa).

Nonetheless, transfers for value and leases are handled in different ways:

  • Leases: for the obligation to be discharged it suffices that the certificate has simply been made available.
  • Transfers for Value: The obligation requires the certificate to have been attached.

This distinction may reflect a desire in the legislation to provide greater protection to a purchaser than to a tenant: indeed, a judgment declaring the agreement void would mean the purchaser could require the repayment of the price they had paid (in addition to any compensation for damages). This would be a much greater sum than would be due to a tenant (who would be entitled to repayment of the rent and possibly compensation for damages). Clearly this will impact upon the evidence that must be provided by anyone applying for a judgment voiding the agreement. While the purchaser has merely to prove that the document was not attached, the tenant faces the more difficult task of showing not only that no certified copy was delivered, but also that the original was not made available.

An Incomplete Framework

Implementation of the Directive in Italy began with Decree 192/20052 establishing the main framework for the Energy Certificate regime which came into force on 8 October 2005. This was supposed to be followed by full secondary technical legislation within 180 days of its entry into force. Legislative Decree 311/2006 was adopted on 22 December 2006. Whilst Decree 311/2006 established the abovementioned timetable compulsory energy certificates, it did not provide the full technical legislation necessary to carry them out and this has left a significant gap in terms of interpretation of the technical requirements for Energy Certificates.

In particular, national guidelines for determining the energy efficiency of buildings were omitted. At a national level, there are few clear standard measurements to be used when assessors test the energy efficiency of a property and the results across the country can be very different. Discussion of the necessary technical provisions has been repeatedly put back, with the result that the full application of the Directive has been hindered.

As a result of this gap, certain Italian Regions have already adopted specific technical legislation on the matter, using their powers under the Italian Constitution.

A confusing and complex situation

In particular, as of today, Lombardia Region, Liguria Region, Piemonte Region and Emilia Romagna Region have all adopted primary legislation complementing the national legislation and secondary technical legislation giving guidance on the technical aspects. For instance, the Lombardia legislation provides that, starting from 1 September 2007, the Energy Certificate must be attached to any deed of transfer for value of individual units in a building, irrespective of the amount of usable space and type of use, if such apartments have an autonomous heating system. This clearly imposes obligations which have to be implemented earlier than the national legislation under Decree 192/2005. As a consequence, in the event of purchase of a building located in Italy, in order to understand whether it is necessary to obtain an Energy Certificate, a potential purchaser / tenant must examine the provisions of both the national legislation and applicable regional regulations, if any. Having done so, the potential purchaser / tenant must apply the more restrictive provisions.

A hopeful resolution

On 20 March 2008 the Italian Government and Regions reached preliminary agreement on a draft national legislative bill dealing with the criteria and the minimum requirements to calculate the energy efficiency of buildings, as well as, on the requirements of the assessors authorised to carry out these tests. Moreover, the Italian Government and Regions agreed on the draft decree by the Ministry of Productive Activities, which would provide for guidelines aiming at regulating the activities between the Italian State and regions on this matter.

It is hoped that this proposed legislation will remove the current uncertainty and complexity and assist in providing a consistent and practicable system for improving building efficiency throughout Italy.


1. 2002/91/CE on the energy performance of the buildings.

2. Legislative Decree No. 192 of 19 August 2005.

Copyright Clifford Chance 2008

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions