European Parliament and Council on energy efficiency Directive 2012/27 / EU establishes a common framework of measures for the promotion of energy efficiency in the European Union, in order to achieve the objectives of 20% reduction of CO2 emissions 2020.

The aim of the Directive is the creation of standards to remove barriers in the energy market and overcome the deficiencies that hamper efficiency in the supply and use of energy. The new legislation requires states to set national indicative targets for 2020 and introduces legally binding measures to promote a more efficient use of energy in all stages of the energy chain, from processing to distribution until final consumption.foto1

Since June 2014, EU Member States have embarked on a path of implementation of the measures envisaged by the Directive by developing long-term strategies to support restructuring of the residential and commercial buildings, both public and private.

In Italy, as of July 19, 2014, date of publication of Legislative Decree 102/2014, the legislative landscape of corporate compliance enhanced with a new standard with specific obligations in the field of energy efficiency. Large companies will have to adopt, by December 5, 2015, energy audits for production sites located throughout the country, or of certified management systems, including elements of systematic energy audit.

Compliance will be requested every four years, penalty fines for missed diagnosis or diagnosis does not comply will be applied.

Undertakings companies required for energy audits are defined as companies that:

  • employ more than 250 people
  • whose annual turnover exceeds 50 million EUR or whose annual balance sheet total exceeding 43 million euro
  • They are also obliged the companies classified as energy intensivefrom the same decree (Article 39, paragraph 1 or paragraph, of Legislative Decree 22 June 2012, nº 83), which have a power consumption of at least 2.4 GWh or an annual energy costs  greater than or equal to 3% of turnover

They are exempted those companies with management systems comply with EMAS, ISO 50001, EN ISO 14001 and the micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that do not exceed these limits of employees or turnover.

The decree introduces However, for SMEs, the incentive systems implementing technical measures to save energy and the adoption of management systems for energy certified according to ISO 50001.

In addition to the four-year energy audits, companies in energy-intensive are forced to give the progressive implementation, within a reasonable time, the efficiency measures identified by the same diagnosis or, alternatively, to adopt energy management systems certified according to ISO 50001.

The results of the diagnosis should be communicated to ENEA and ISPRA who look after the preservation. In particular, ENEA are delegated controls that will ensure, through inspections in situ, compliance with the requirements of the decree of the diagnosis. They are also made of spot checks by the annual selection of a statistically significant proportion of the population of companies subject to at least 3%, for the diagnosis carried out by external auditors to the companies, and 100% for the diagnosis carried out by internal auditors.

In case of irregularities, they may be imposed administrative fines from 4 to 40 thousand euro for failure to diagnose and 2 to 20,000 euro for diagnosis do not comply. ENEA will establish and manage a database of businesses subject to energy audits, which will be reporting the date of execution of the diagnosis, the diagnosis report.

In Spain, the Directive has not been yet fully transposed. The drafting of the Royal Decree, which should enable it, is still in the planning stage. So far, the documents actually transposed are the following:

  • Articles 69 and 85 of the Royal Decree – Law 8/2014, of July 4, focusing on the adoption of urgent measures for growth, competitiveness, and efficiency. The issues tackled embrace topics such as: the infringements in energy efficiency, recognition of service providers and auditing energy, promoting energy in the energy supply and the accounting of energy consumption.
  • The court decision of 8 September 2014, the Directorate General of Energy Policy and Mining, which triggers the delivery of information prospectuses to stakeholders in the sale of energy, in accordance with the provisions of Royal Decree 8/2014. The measure also indicates the deadlines to be met by those called upon to fulfill the requirements of energy efficiency, and provides the data to energy sales to final customers nationwide.
  • The thirteenth disposition of Law 15/2014 of 16 September, regarding the rationalization of the public sector and other new measures of an administrative nature.

As regards the requirement of production of energy auditing, the criteria for identifying the undertakings concerned are the same as set forth for Italy (these criteria are set out in Title I of the appendix to Recommendation 2003/361 / EC), and Spain affecting about 990 companies.foto3

Also in the Spanish case, the auditing must be made before December 5, 2015 and subsequently every four years. Alternatively, businesses may decide to adopt a management system certified ISO 500001, which includes a process of auditing, though less detailed, and must be renewed every three years.

In relation to the requirements for energy audits, energy audits may be attributed also to the well-known acronym SMART is often used to characterize the objectives.

An energy audit must be:

– Specific, in that it must refer to a detailed examination of energy consumption profile of buildings or groups of buildings, business or industrial plants;

Measurable, as it must be based on consumption data measurable and traceable;

Achievable (reach), as it must be based on an analysis of the cost of the life cycle of the proposed actions, rather than on simple payback periods, so as to take account of long-term savings, residual values of long-term investment and discount rates;

– Realistic, as it has to be proportionate and sufficiently representative to allow you to draw a true picture of overall energy performance and the reliable identification of the most significant opportunities for improvement.

– Time related, as it should be due to the trend of production and events that occurred during the period examined.

I In summary, the energy audit is the first, essential step to begin the path of systematic design of energy savings because it allows to know how energy is consumed within their own production company, it must therefore be regarded as an infrastructure, that for the economic, social and environmental results to be strategic and self-liquidating, being able to pay back through the savings generated, the initial investment supported.

Maria Mura | Energy Consultant

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