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European Commission - Press release

Energy performance of buildings: Commission refers Italy to Court

Brussels, 26 April 2012 - Buildings are responsible for around 40% of energy consumption and 36% of the CO2 emissions in the European Union. The European legislation aims to achieve a significant reduction in the energy consumption of buildings, thus helping to combat climate change and strengthen the EU’s energy security. Large energy savings will also enable households to drastically reduce their bills. It is therefore essential that Member States fully apply this legislation.

The Commission has thus decided today to refer Italy to the EU's Court of Justice for failure to fully comply with Directive 2002/91/EC on the energy performance of buildings. Italian legislation is not in line with the provisions on energy performance certificates. In addition, Italian authorities have not yet communicated any implementing measures regarding inspections of air-conditioning systems.

The Directive requires that when buildings are constructed, sold or rented out an energy performance certificate is made available to the owner or the prospective buyer or tenant. This is key for consumers because it allows them to have a clear view on the quality of the building in terms of energy savings and the associated costs. These certificates and the related inspections should be carried out by qualified and/or accredited experts. Currently, Italian legislation does not apply this requirement to all buildings and includes exceptions to the obligation of certification by an expert which are not foreseen in the Directive.

As for air-conditioning, the Directive foresees regular inspections including an assessment of the system efficiency and its sizing, accompanied by advice on possible improvements. The Italian authorities have so far not notified any measure implementing this provision.


The infringement proceedings concern Directive 2002/91/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2002 on the energy performance of buildings (OJ L1, 4.1.2003). According to the Directive, Member States must establish a method for calculating the energy performance of all types of buildings. Member States have also to ensure the certification of the energy performance of buildings and require the regular inspection of boilers and air-conditioning systems.

An infringement procedure was opened in 2006 against Italy due to the incomplete and incorrect transposition of the Directive. Despite several letters of formal notice and reasoned opinions to the Italian Authorities, the legislation is still not in compliance with the Directive.

Further information

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

Commission web page on the energy efficiency of buildings:

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

Current figures on infringements in general can be found at:

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/12/279

Contacts :

Marlene Holzner (+32 2 296 01 96)

Nicole Bockstaller (+32 2 295 25 89)

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