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”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). 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 & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd 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 or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.