Energy efficiency requirements
Compliance with minimum energy efficiency and energy performance requirements is required for all new buildings (including in case of demolition and reconstruction) as well as for major renovation works of existing buildings. Part of those requirements would also apply in case of replacement of systems and equipments installed in existing buildings or certain (extra-ordinary) maintenance works. Except for the above cases, there is currently no general obligation for a property owner to carry out works on an existing building to improve its energy efficiency.
Energy efficiency certificates
According to the Guidelines, energy efficiency certificates (so called Attestati di Certificazione Energetica-ACE) must be obtained in connection with the construction, renovation or disposal of buildings.
In general, with regard to construction or renovation works, ACEs must be obtained in the following cases:
- construction of new buildings;
- demolition and re-construction of existing buildings;
- major renovation works on existing buildings; and
- works on existing buildings which are aimed at improving energy efficiency and for which public subsidies or incentives (including tax allowances) are sought.
ACEs are also required for public buildings (including buildings occupied by public entities) in connection with contracts for management and maintenance of heating or air conditioning systems (contracts entered into or renewed after 1 July 2007). Finally ACEs must be obtained in case of disposal of buildings (or parts thereof: exceptions apply) for a valuable consideration.
The above requirement applies not only to straightforward sales but also to contributions in kind as well as to the creation of rights in rem (excluding mortgages). It should not instead apply to property transactions carried out as share deals.
In the case of disposal of buildings, Decree 192/2005 also requires that specific provisions are included in the relevant contracts confirming that the transferee has received all relevant information and documents regarding the energy efficiency of the property.
With regard to leases, the current provisions of Decree 192/2005 do not require the landlord, when entering into a new lease, to obtain an ACE for the property. However, if an ACE had been (or should have been) already obtained for other reasons (e.g. renovation works, earlier acquisition of the property), the landlord is required to provide to the tenant with the same information and documents regarding energy efficiency of the property that would be required in the case of disposal and a specific provision to that effect must be included in the lease contract.
It should be noted, that further to the national legislation discussed above, that regional laws may impose stricter requirements and, for instance, require, in relation to leases, that ACEs are obtained and delivered to the tenant in any case. Applicable regional laws and regulations should therefore always be considered to ensure full compliance of contracts with all applicable provisions of law.