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European Commission - Press release

Energy performance of buildings: Italy is requested to comply with EU legislation

Brussels, 29 September 2011 - Buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of EU CO2 emissions in the European Union. If we put in place energy efficiency measures for buildings that are foreseen in European legislation, by 2020 we can significantly reduce our energy consumption and CO2 emissions of buildings. Energy efficient buildings will also enable households to save money. It is therefore essential that Member States fully apply this legislation. This is why the Commission has today formally requested Italy to fully comply with the EU rules on energy performance of buildings. The Commission has decided to send Italy a reasoned opinion.

Already in November last year the Commission informed Italy about its lack of compliance with the relevant rules (IP/10/1561). Although in the meantime the Italian authorities have taken additional measures, the Commission considers that the Italian legislation still does not fully comply with the EU requirements.

The EU rules on energy performance certificates increase European citizens' awareness of the energy consumption of their homes and on ways how to reduce this consumption. These certificates have to be issued in an independent manner by a qualified expert for all new and existing buildings. However, Italian law allows building owners themselves to make a self-declaration for the energy performance of the building if they state that the energy level of the building is of the lowest class (G) and that the energy costs for the prospective tenant or buyer are going to be very high. In practice, this means that the new owner or tenant of the building does not receive any information on the future energy costs or any recommendations on how to improve the energy performance of the building in a cost-effective manner.

Moreover, when a building is rented, the law in Italy requires these certificates only for new buildings, whilst for existing buildings that do not already have such a certificate at the time of concluding a rental contract, a certificate is not compulsory.

Furthermore, Italy has still not put in place the necessary measures to ensure regular inspections of air-conditioning systems. These inspections should ensure the optimal performance of the systems and should include advice on possible improvements and on alternative solutions.

The Commission may decide to take Italy to the European Court of Justice if no adequate measures are put in place within two months.

Background

Directive 2002/91/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2002 on the energy performance of buildings, Official Journal L 1, 4.1.2003 pp. 65-71

The Directive requires Member States to establish a method for calculating the energy performance of buildings and to establish minimum energy performance standards for new buildings and for large existing buildings that are subject to major renovation.

In addition, Member States have to ensure the certification of the energy performance of buildings and require the regular inspection of boilers and air conditioning systems. This certification scheme and a scheme for the regular inspection of boilers and air‑conditioning systems have been mandatory since 4 January 2009.

Further information

The Directive on the energy efficiency of buildings can be consulted here.

Commission web page on the energy efficiency of buildings:

http://ec.europa.eu/energy/efficiency/buildings/buildings_en.htm

Some concise information on the stages of an infringement procedure is available

here.

Current figures on infringements in general can be found at:

http://ec.europa.eu/eu_law/infringements/infringements_en.htm

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/11/646

Contacts :

Marlene Holzner (+32 2 296 01 96)

Nicole Bockstaller (+32 2 295 25 89)


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