Italian Pilot Project

Italian stakeholder engagement and best practice monitoring in the public sector for energy efficiency in existing buildings

Introduction

The Italian Pilot project consists in 2 parts:

At local level, the energy renovation process of a social housing company, ACER Reggio Emilia, was monitored by comparing it to the REQUEST quality framework with the aim to integrate quality-based specifications into Energy Performance Contracts.

At national level, a consultation mechanism, Tavoli di Lavoro 4E, has been launched in April 2011 to create synergy between stakeholders and improve the demand-supply relationship for effective low-carbon building renovation. Main objectives of the mechanism are:

  • Improving the offer-side, by defining tools and standards for quality in the supply chain
  • Stimulate the demand side, by collecting relevant information and inform owners and users
  • Accelerate the coherent implementation of current legislative measures and develop insight for new ones.

 

ENEA, supporting the Ministry of Economic Development for Energy Efficiency, coordinates the mechanism and animates the debate within 4 multi-stakeholder Working Groups (WGs):

  • Certification of enterprises and products
  • Education and Qualification of trades and professionals
  • Contracting
  • Information/Promotion.

Discussions also take cue from national and international best practices and from outcomes of high level expert forums. Main results of the Working Groups are position papers, shared proposals to the central government and clustering for Energy Efficiency targets achievement.

Activities and results

At local level

The diagnosis, planning, operation phases in the renovation process of two neighbourhoods involving 180 dwellings in Reggio Emilia province have been analysed through REQUEST standards and instruments for quality assured renovation and integration in tendering contracts.

A post occupancy evaluation (POE) exercise was performed engaging ACER users and technical staff; the methodology will be integrated into periodical satisfaction surveys and into the process evaluation.

At national level

Up to now 32 national key stakeholder associations and federations are engaged in the Tavoli 4E Network.

Engagement of developers, contractors, designers, policy makers, certification bodies and experts associations, is periodically performed through thematic meetings, continuous networking and remote working.

The Ministry of Economic Development is regularly involved and informed by ENEA.

As a result after the first year of life, Tavoli di Lavoro 4E have produced and submitted to the Ministry:

  1. Proposal for an improved financial scheme for energy renovation (September 2011)
  2. Position Paper on Energy performance certification in the transposition of EPBD2 (July 2012)

Both proposals, conceived to impact the ongoing legislative processes, intend to promote major renovation and stimulate combined minor refurbishment measures at the same time. They also focus on the role of EPC recommendations to promote action by the owner, facilitate monitoring and evaluation by responsible authorities, foster compliance.

Tavoli 4E met 16 times so far, outcomes have been disseminated through 2 national wide conferences organised by ENEA and presented in several national events with relevant feedback from the media.

Key lessons learnt and new challenges

Integrating specifications for a quality assured renovation into energy performance contracting still requires solving legal and technical problems. From both experiences in the pilot, proper guarantees and demonstrative cases are assumed as prioritary not only to get solid results but also to attract investors.

From the Tavoli 4E experience so far, awareness has been gained on opportunities offered by bringing together different stakeholders to rouse acceptability and insight. The role of ENEA, acting as National Energy Agency, in learning from best practices, spreading and sharing them with potential key implementersis appreciated:

  • By the Ministry, for integration in new regulatory instruments for Energy Performance of Buildings
  • By participants, as a good way to elevate the knowledge level and stir opportunities for market development

Enthusiastic stakeholder participation and interest from policy makers call for permanent networking activities around Energy Performance of Existing Buildings in Italy. The stakeholder working groups, currently comprising 32 national associations and federations and born in parallel to the REQUEST IEE project is gaining new adhesions and pledge for a long-life perspective.

Many participants have recently committed themselves to carry out joint activities with ENEA on:

  • Setting up a shared knowledge basis on cost-effectiveness of measures (on-going)
  • Making significant information available for assisting different target groups towards renovation
  • Clearing the ground for replicable best practices by coaching local case studies like the ACER experience on Energy Performance Contracting.