On the 6th June 2013 new legislation was brought into force in Italy to implement, once again, what is currently Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings.

Under this new legislation, the name of Italian energy performance certificates (previously called “Attestato di Certificazione Energetica” or ACE for short) was changed to “Attestato di Prestazione Energetica (APE)“. However this was not just a change of name. The rules as to when this certificate is required have been changed and sanctions for breach of these technical rules have been exacerbated.

This did not prevent the European Court finding Italy in breach of its obligations under Directive 2010/31/EU, a few days later.

The new legislation is currently a Decree which will require to be confirmed with a law within the following sixty days and to be implemented by new, detailed technical regulations to be issued by the Italian Ministry for economic development (Ministero per lo Sviluppo Economico). For the moment there will be no technical changes to Italian energy performance certificates, and the existing certificates, issued under the earlier legislation (ACE), will continue to be valid.

The new rules, which have immediate application, state when Italian energy performance certificates are required, when they should be quoted and when details should be provided to third parties. So for instance, details of the relevant Italian APE certificates must now expressly be quoted in every advert for the sale or letting of Italian properties.
Also an APE is required to be organised by the builder on completion of building works or of substantial property restoration, in Italy. Also, an energy performance certificate is required from the owner, every time a property is offered for sale or for letting in Italy.

The new rules are very detailed. In case of proposed sale of an Italian property, the owner must disclose the contents of the relevant APE certificate from the very beginning of the negotiations, to his proposed buyer. The owner is then required to actually deliver the APE certificate and all the supporting documentation to the prospective buyer, on exchange of contracts. A specific clause is then required to be added by this new legislation to the notarial Sale Deed (Compravendita). With this clause the buyer is required to acknowledge that he / she duly received the APE certificate for the property in question.

Similarly the landlord must now deliver an APE certificate to his tenant, every time a property is let to a new tenant in Italy.

To make matters more complicated, this new legislation will not apply to the areas where proactive Italian district local authorities (Regioni ) have already issued their own specific, local legislation and regulations, such as the Liguria, Emilia Romagna, Piemonte and Lombardia Regions. In these areas, energy performance certificates will continue to be called with their old name, ACE or “Attestato di Certificazione Energetica” and be subject to local legislation.

However the new sanctions for breach of these new rules are the area where the change is more strident and exacerbated. The former, almost benign, neglect if an energy certificate was not produced, has now been replaced with ferocious sanctions that can now be levied for the slightest failure to timely produce an APEcertificate.

Thus the owner of a new building or a substantially restored building who fails to timely organise an APE certificate is now liable to a fine ranging between Euro 3,000 and Euro 18,000. The same penalty currently applies in Italy to any vendor of a building / property who fails to disclose the details of the applicable APEcertificate to his prospective buyer, or does not deliver the APE certificate with all the supporting documentation to his buyer on exchange of contracts.

Where a professional issues in Italy an incorrect APE certificate, he will be liable to fines ranging between Euro 700 and Euro 4,200, and will be reported to the professional supervising bodies for further sanctions. Any advert for the letting or sale of Italian properties which does not disclose specific details of the relevantAPEcertificate will result in fines ranging between Euro 500 and Euro 3,000.

Organising an energy Performance Certificate (APE ) is now one of the first steps towards the sale or the letting of an Italian property, a serious matter. This is now a potentially expensive certificate, which requires careful and timely consideration.

It is a pity that these new legal requirements come into force at a time when the Italian property market is already in a very poor state. This new legislation is likely to make the life of prospective Italian property sellers / landlords even more difficult.

Dr Claudio Del Giudice – 16.07.2013 – Copyright reserved.

Read previous articles on this subject:

1) Italian Energy Performance Certificates – Just another hurdle or an opportunity (01.10.2009)

2) Sales and lettings of Italian properties: energy certificates and new regulations (05.06.2011)