Considering that energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions related to energy in buildings represent around 40% in the EU and 36% in Italy, the energy requalification of Italian real estate assets has become a priority at an environmental, social and economic level. health and the labor market. This inspires the EU directive on “green houses”.
The Directive 2018/844/EU on the energy efficiency of buildings (EPBD) establishes that every country will have to set minimum energy efficiency standards for buildings by 2027 and implement them from 2030.
The draft of the EU directive
The draft directive, included in the “Fit for 55” packageestablishes that by 2027 public and non-residential buildings must achieve at least energy class F and subsequently, after three years, energy class E.
Residential buildings have three more years of tolerance and will have to achieve at least energy class F by 2030, class E by 2033 and class D by 2040.
The ambitious goal is that all buildings achieve zero-emission class A by 2050 (grades range from A4 to the lowest G). There is currently no explicit ban on the sale or rental of polluting buildings and the decision is left to individual countries.
The numbers of green houses in Italy
In Italy, the obligations for the energy efficiency of buildings collide with reality: according to Confedilizia, more than 9 million out of 12.2 million buildings are not in compliance.
74% of buildings in Italy were built before the legislation on energy and seismic savings came into force. In 2020, 75.4% of the energy performance certificates referred to buildings are in polluting classes (E, F, G), with class G representing 35.3% according to Enea-CTI monitoring.
The need for expensive renovations
Strict implementation of the Energy Directive in the short term would require costly renovation work for two out of three buildings at a difficult time for the economy and would reduce the value of buildings with a lower energy rating.
The warning of the Confederation
Confedilizia maintains that in many cases the interventions required to make buildings more sustainable would be impossible to carry out due to the particular characteristics of the buildings. Also, the short timeframe would cause a negative impact on the market, con price increases, difficulties in the availability of raw materials, scaffolding, specialized manpower e professionals.
The costs to reach the energy classes required by Directive 2018/844/EU would be high. According to Enea, to “jump” three energy classes in a condominium with 20 apartments, the cost would be around 30,000 euros for each home. An estimated cost of 10-15 thousand euros for the fixtures alone.
The most expensive renovations
The most expensive jobs to make houses green are the thermal coat (about 60% of the total expenditure) and the replacement of the windows. This is followed by the installation of a photovoltaic system, the replacement of the old heating system with a high-performance gas boiler or a heat pump. The cost would further increase with re-roofing and underfloor heating.
Possible energy savings with renovations
The Annual Energy Efficiency Report of Enea (National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development) shows that making homes green through expensive investments can generate savings of up to 60% on consumption and increase the value of properties by 30%.
Energy efficiency to reduce fossil imports
“Energy efficiency is important for both decarbonisation and energy security, as reducing energy demand reduces dependence on imports of fossil fuels,” he said Livio de Santoli, president of the FREE Coordination, the largest Italian association of companies and organizations dealing with renewables and energy efficiency in Italy. Santoli added that those who are against energy efficiency and its modalities would deny not only the importance of the decarbonization process, but also the many other related benefits highlighted by the recent Censis report “Ecobonus and Superbonus for the country’s energy transition “.
How is Italy moving in Europe
The Italian government, together with business associations, is promoting the EU proposal on green houses with incentives to mitigate the financial impact. The directive requires member states to provide financial support for families who cannot afford it, but state coffers are already under strain from fighting against rising prices.
The next steps
The final version of the EU proposal on green homes will arrive at the ITRE Commission on 9 February 2023, with over 1,500 amendments to discuss. The process will continue in the Chamber in Strasbourg, where it will be voted on and subsequently negotiated with the EU Council made up of the leaders of 27 member countries. The situation is complex and we will see if there will be any changes following the concerns that have emerged in Italy.
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