Attestato di prestazione energetica (APE)

An Attestato di Prestazione Energetica is the Italian for an Energy Performance Certificate

An Attestato di Prestazione Energetica (APE) describes the energy characteristics of a property.

In Italy an APE is mandatory in order to sell or let a property.

When is an APE mandatory?

An APE is a legal requirement that came into effect on 1st July 2009 for property sales and 1st July 2010 for property lets.

Since January 2012, real estate advertisements must include a property’s energy performance index (value in kWh / sqm per annum).

In most cases, an APE is valid for 10 years. In order to maintain the validity of the Attestato di Prestazione Energetica, property owners must have their boilers serviced in accordance with requirements of the Italian law.

How do you get an APE in Italy?

An APE can only be issued by a qualified professional called a,  “certificatore energetico”. Italian Regional administrations are responsible for training and accrediting technicians according to their own regulations.

At the time of writing, about half of the Italian Regions have yet to adopt their own regulations. Where a Region hasn’t implemented its own regulations, national law (Legislative Decree 192/05) applies.

The certificatore energetico is a technical expert with specific skills in the field of building and systems energy efficiency. For example, an architect, an engineer or a surveyor.

How is an APE issued?

An onsite inspection of the property is mandatory.

The certificatore energetico uses software to assess the characteristics of the property. This includes input about structural aspects of the building, walls and frames – both doors and windows. The inspection also takes into consideration the efficiency of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, hot water and energy production systems such as photovoltaic panels.

Based on all the input, the software calculates the property’s level of energy efficiency and the certificatore energetico issues the APE. In addition, the certificatore energetico submits a copy of the APE to the competent Regional authority.

You should keep your APE with your boiler manual and, when you sell or let your property, provide it to the new owners or tenants.

If you are buying a property in Italy, you should request its APE well before you sign a deed of sale.

How much does an APE cost?

There is no set fee. Costs depend on the location and the characteristics of the property. As a guideline, the price of an APE for an apartment varies on average between € 150 and € 250. For bigger properties such as villas, townhouses, shops and offices, the cost is higher.

Why do you need an APE?

As previously mentioned an APE is a statutory requirement.

Its main purpose is to evaluate the financial implications of energy consumption when buying or renting a property. An APE also provides recommendations to reduce energy consumption and costs.

Although, it may seem like just another bureaucratic process, the APE is a document that can help with marketability. Properties with lower energy consumption are more sought after when it comes to selling or letting them.

In addition, the Italian government offers green incentives for energy efficient new build constructions and renovations to existing properties that improve energy efficiency. For renovation-related incentives, you can use before and after APEs to prove that you have improved energy efficiency.

Avoid Attestato di Prestazione Energetica scams!

There have been a number of scams associated with APE issuance. Our advice is to make sure you check that your certificatore energetico has been accredited by your Region. Compare estimates in your area. Make sure that the estimate includes VAT, postal costs, expenses and any other additional costs. Be wary of excessively low prices or anyone who tells you that you don’t need an onsite inspection. And watch out for intermediaries who offer their own expert at an excessive price.

Finally …

An APE is also useful when obtaining a Certificate of Habitability for a property.

If you have any questions about an Attesto di Prestazione Energetica, or if you need support or help with getting an APE, we would always advise that you seek independent legal advice.

 

You may also be interested in What is an italian Energy Performance Certificate?

COVID-19 and “force majeure” clause in contracts

Force Majeure: “Act of God”

Does the  COVID-19 pandemic trigger a Force Majeure Clause in Italian Property Sales and Purchasing Contracts?

Also known as an “Act of God”, a Force Majeure clause in contracts is widely known, yet narrowly understood.

In general, a Force Majeure is an event that is beyond the control of either party to a contract. It prevents or hinder the performance of the contract.

Illness is a very unusual reason for causing a Force Majeure in contracts. However, the Coronavirus pandemic is not a common ailment. It has confined entire countries and restricted peoples’ movement and travel.

Recent disruptions have seen an increased number of calls from clients concerned about their responsibilities and rights regarding Italian property contracts.

A particularly frequent question is whether a Force Majeure clause exonerates vendors and buyers from performing contractual obligations?

What happens to Italian property contracts during Coronavirus restrictions?

Art. 91, 17 March 2020 n. 18 (“Decreto Cura Italia”) legislation deals with the liabilities for non-performance of a contract.

A party to a contract, who fails to perform contractual obligations shall be liable to pay damages unless it can be proved that the non-performance was caused by circumstances resulting from a cause beyond control (i.e. a Force Majeure).

The same law includes containment measures that limit movement, designed to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus disease. Failure to comply with these measures is a criminal offence under Article 650 of the Penal Code.

The issue of containment measures, and the restriction of movement, represent an obstacle in terms of completion of a Deed of Sale. Not only for those who may need to move from one Italian Municipality to another, but above all for people involved in cross-border real estate transactions.

Such containment measures may make it difficult and/or impossible to complete a Deed of Sale with a notary public.

Remedies

Extensions

Parties may be able to negotiate an extension to the contractual time limit for completion of a Deed of Sale.

Non-authenticated private deed

In order to avoid missing a contractual deadline, parties can also complete the Deed of Sale by means of a non-authenticated private deed.

In line with art. 1350 of the Italian Civil Code, parties will need to repeat the transcription and authentication process at an ulterior date. This will be possible once restrictions ease. Failure to have a Deed of Sale authenticated and transcribed later could render the Deed of Sale null and void.

Power of Attorney

By conferring a Limited Power of Attorney,  you can have someone act on your behalf in Italy. If you opt for a Power of Attorney, it is important that you entrust your affairs to a reliable and competent person such as a lawyer. Appointing someone who does not have enough experience or with whom there may be a conflict of interests, is highly inadvisable.

Use a holding account to protect your property payment

Our advice would be that you only use a bonded holding account to protect the balance of your payment for a property sale in Italy. Not just during the pandemic but always.  Known as a, “Deposito Prezzo” in Italian. You can arrange this with a notary public, who will act as guarantor for your transaction.

I am negotiating a Preliminary Contract for a property. Can I get a force majeure clause?

If you are in the process of negotiating the sale or purchase of a property in Italy, you should make sure that you include a “Force Majeure” clause in the Preliminary Contract. The clause should take into account a wide range of events. Not only natural disasters and catastrophic events but also disease epidemics and pandemics.

Finally …

If you are buying a property and need legal advice because of the pandemic, our legal professionals are here to provide help and guidance.

Please contact De Tullio Law Firm at the following email address info@detulliolawfirm.com