The Energy Performance Certification influences prices and demand
The rating of homes can be improved through little renovation works
Italian buildings are responsible for 35.9% of pollution produced in Italy, according to figures made known by the Ministry of Economic Development. The country accounts for 17.5% of carbon dioxide emissions deriving from domestic energy use in Europe, one of the highest percentages among the EU member states (Source: Eurima).
70% of buildings were built before 1976, when the first regulations on energy efficiency (Law n. 373) came into force. The good news is that household energy consumption can be considerably reduced by carrying out some little interventions, which are neither too much complex nor costly.
Today, in Italy, there are 32 million housing units that require a 32-billion-euro expense for energy use yearly. According to an analysis conducted by ENEA, the energy efficiency grade is comprised between A and C – C is the minimum standard for new constructions – only in 5-7% of homes which generally use 75 kWh/sq. m. per year, depending on the climatic zone and the characteristics of the building. Energy needs of a residential unit in Italy amount to 180 kWh/sq. m. per year: the highest figure in the EU. Spain and France follow with 160 kWh/sq.m. and 150 kWh/sq.m. respectively.
An F-rated single-family home that uses 110 kW/h per year is generally built using hollow bricks without double-glazing or insulation. The rating of the home can be improved to an E grade by replacing the old boiler with a new condensing boiler – that achieves a 98% thermal efficiency by using the waste heat in the flue gases to pre-heat the cold water entering the boiler – and by insulating surfaces. Condensing boilers require a higher investment but they allow a 20%-saving on bills. A D-grade 100-metre apartment can become a C-rated dwelling after a proper renovation and costs can be reduced from 540 to 392 euros on an yearly basis.
If improvements are made, the energy efficiency rating of the property can change, which would mean considerable cost savings per year. A reduction in energy use that allows an upgrading of the energy efficiency rating may cut household running costs by 25%. Energy savings may also reach 50% by installing high-tech appliances. A careful personalised analysis made by qualified technicians can lead to appropriate technological solutions that grant a quick return on investment: changing doors and windows can cut running costs by 10%; another 24% saving can be achieved by installing an exterior thermal insulation system. The insulation of the roofing allows a 12% saving.
The Energy Performance Certification is already influencing prices of real estate properties and may also encourage the demand.
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