Diagnosis and Energy Performance Certification of Buildings

Building energy consumption in Italy represents about 40% of the national total energy needs and the goal is to reach an effective energy saving and greenhouse gas emissions at national level, in order to obtain high level interior comfort, at no excessive building design and construction additional costs. 

In accordance with the Italian Legislative Decree No. 192/2005, which had replaced the previous Directive on energy building performance (2002/91/EC), the Decree no. 59 of the President of the Italian Republic of 2nd April 2009 has been entered into force and it defines the general criteria, the calculation methods and minimum energy performance requirements for buildings and for heating and cooling systems, implementing Article 4 of Legislative Decree no. 192/2005.

Since 1st July 2009, the Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) is mandatory for all types of properties which are constructed, sold or rented out to a new tenant, for new building and for buildings with a total useful floor area below 1000 m2. Thanks to the Decree No. 63/2013, the new Italian EPC Regulations (APE) will replace the previously EPC model (ACE), aimed at establishing new methodology frameworks to calculate the energy performance of buildings. This is the result of European Union Directive No. 2010/31 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19th May 2010 on the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD, recast of the Directive 2002/91/EC), by setting a target for all “new buildings to be nearly zero-energy”.


Energy certification of buildings is an important element of Europe’s Energy and climate policy. The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) was introduced in 2002 by the issue of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive No. 91, as a mandatory requirement for the EU Member States. The recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive in 2010 reinforced the EPC obligation for the Member States and introduced additional requirements. The EPC is a powerful tool to create a demand-driven market , which provides information for customers on the Energy Performance of Buildings or dwellings. The main aim of the EPC scheme is to improve the energy performance rating of buildings along the design and implementation process and to provide an overview of basic features to consumers on buildings they plan to purchase or to rent.

Building Energy Rating (BER) is an indicator of the energy performance of a building (residential or commercial). It covers energy use for some key elements, such as space heating, water heating, ventilation and lighting calculated on the basis of standard occupancy. The energy class is a scale, which is divided into 7 bands ranging from A to G. The existing building with a high energy performance are classified with an A, instead the G-rated ones are low energy buildings. In addition, the report will contain a section, which showing what the recommended measures that can be taken to improve the certified property’s energy efficiency.

In 2009, the Italian Government published the Ministerial Decree of 26th June 2009, concerning the “National guidelines for energy certification of buildings” and it establishes the means of connection, coordination and cooperation between the State and the Regions.

Then, the Ministerial Decree of 22nd November 2012 issued by the Ministry of Economic Development, published in the Official Gazette of the Italian Republic modifying the Ministerial Decree of 26th June 2009, introduces the repeal of the self-energy declaration to energy class G made by the owner of a building unit. This self-certification must be replaced by simplified methods, with reference to the National Guidelines indicated in the Ministerial Decree of 26th June 2009.

The EPC standard model is provided by the National guidelines for the Energy Certificate (Ministerial Decree of 26th June 2009), that defines not only its mandatory content, but also guidelines for the calculation of the required energy performance indicators.

The EPC was initially named “ACE: Attestato di Certificazione Energetica” and in 2013 it has been turned into a similar one, called “APE: Attestato di Prestazione Energetica”, which contains general information of a building and its global energy performance. So, the Energy Performance Certificate (ACE) has been replaced with the Certificate of Energy Performance (APE).

The EPC must be written by an accredited expert, also called Energy Performance Assessor.

To become a Certified Building Energy Technician, the professionals have to attend a specific training courses, defined by Regional Decree. 


With the approval of the Italian Decree of 6th June 2013, the subsiding policy framework has changed and from the financial point of view, it was decided to adapt a more long term vision about the energy efficiency.

The Tax Credit Program has positively affected the building sector, in fact, by this Decree, it is scheduled for an extent and an important enhancement of tax deductions for measures regarding the energy retrofit of buildings, which goes from 55% to 65% of the energy efficiency upgrade cost, divided into 10 equal annual amount.

From 6th June 2013 until the end of 2014, the private owners and the individual condominium can benefit from this subsidiary policy, which has been extended until the end of 2015, by setting 50% reduced rate for the next year.

This program is referred to structural works, such as building envelope and thermal insulation (for example, replacement of doors and windows, shutters, thermal cladding, flooring, etc.), the solar panel installation for the production of health warm water and the replacement of heat generators with condensing boilers and winter air conditioning systems.


The Ministerial Decree of 28th December 2012 on the so-called Renewable Energy for Heating & Cooling Support Scheme” (Conto Termico) provided financial incentives on some types of projects, based on energy efficiency improvement of buildings and on the production of thermal energy by renewable resources. This price-based scheme introduces a contribution up to 40% on the intervention cost, which is granted for a period varying between 2 or 5 years, according to the project features, as follows:

  • for private parties and public administrations: replacement of heating system and water heating with high-efficiency heat pumps system; replacement of winter heating or existing greenhouse heating system with new plants, having biomass boilers; installation of solar thermal systems, including also those based on the solar cooling technology;
  • only for public administration entities: thermal insulation of the opaque building surfaces (thermal claddings); replacement of external doors and windows; installation of shielding technology and solar shading systems, such as external doors and windows, with fixed or mobile and non-portable oriented slats.

Esempio di applicazione diffuso dal Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico


AB Engineering Company Srl is composed by a dynamic and talented team of Accredited Professionals, who are able to draw up the Energy Certificate (ACE) and to perform a real-time whole Building Energy Diagnostics, according to the LEED Protocol (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), that recognizes the best-in-class green building constructions, and to the Green Energy Audit Certification.

The target of these methodologies is not only the certifications field and the energy assessment, but also achieves the green energy retrofit of existing buildings, aimed at combining the residential building sector needs in the last years, such low energy consumption and future cities more sustainable. The sustainability is assessed by qualified technicians, called Green Energy Auditor, with reference to the LEED Protocol.

Contact us to discuss the Energy Performance Certificate of your building and to help you with a technical advice made by our LEED Accredited Professional, in order to analyze your structures and facilities, by adopting energy retrofit measures for enhancing sustainability and for developing a green building economy.

So, you can understand how sustainability can be successfully applied on your project today to benefit you in the future.

Also, our Energy Auditors perform a thermographic inspection, to detect thermal defect and air leakage in building envelope. The resulting analysis helps the certified technician to determine whether the insulation is needed and then to find out best solutions.


Thermography is a non-contact and real time technique, which measures the surface temperature variations of a structure through images, called thermographs or thermal scan, by using infrared video or still camera. These tools work by scanning the infrared wave length of a electromagnetic spectrum and they can detect building problems, which are invisible to the naked eyes.

The application of infrared thermography allows energy auditors to provide a reliable and accurate assessment for inspections of buildings and it has several advantages, such as it can disclose potential defects before and during the building construction.

A thermographic inspection is performed by certified technicians and it could be either exterior or interior survey. Thermographic scans can be used mainly in the following areas:

  • to detect heat losses, air leakage and defects in all electrical installations;
  • to detect overheating or malfunctioning in mechanical equipment;
  • to identify structural faults and the exact location of energy leaks, to test the air permeability, to check water infiltration in walls or roof and to make building inspection, renovation and refurbishment operations in the construction industry;
  • to identify the technical features of heating and cooling systems;
  • to perform predictive maintenance checkup by applying non-destructive testing technology of composite materials, in order to determine and evaluate equipment status before a breakdown occurs.

 Contact us to test the effectiveness of insulation of your installations or buildings.


Thermography is a fast and reliable technique for inspecting photovoltaic systems. Thermal imaging camera is the ideal tool to evaluate solar panels’ performance, by detecting the temperature differences in a photovoltaic system and visualize them in thermal imagines, the so-called thermographs. In short, the best way to prove that the solar panel are failure-free is the thermal imaging analysis, which is a prerequisite for efficient power generation, long life and a high return on the investment.  

Thermography also offers several advantages:

  • anomalies and problems can be clearly seen on a thermal image, both during the production process and after the photovoltaic system has been installed;
  • in the case of any faulty or mismatched modules, they can be replaced under the warranty terms;
  • to assure the optimal solar power production and to identify the weaknesses;
  • to perform preventive and predictive maintenance of the solar panels;
  • to pinpoint defective modules or solar cells and provide with the replacement under the warranty or insurance terms;
  • to reduce downtime;
  • to allow monitoring large-scale photovoltaic system and to determine precise fault location.


These images from an infrared inspection show a faulty module, due to failed bypass diode, which can be seen by human eyes.

For further information, do not hesitate to contact us.


Electrical inspection and testing allow energy auditors to determine the effective gap of building’s performance, in order to compare it to the ideal or expected conditions, by using a professional electrical test equipment.

In photovoltaic systems, it is possible to draw the characteristic curve CURRENT VOLTAGE under real operating conditions and compare it to the curve defined by the constructor of the installed photovoltaic module, in order to highlight possible productivity reduction and return on the investment.


Using technical equipment allows measurement and registration of single and three-phase electrical network’s parameters and it provides solution to problems, which involve industry field (leakages, phase shift, network quality, computer networks breakdown, nonlinear circuit analysis, power factor correction, motor starter, etc.).

Measuring devices show vector diagrams, aimed at identifying immediately the mutual phase shift between voltage signals and input current, in order to define the nature of loads. Furthermore, detecting input voltage spikes is useful in troubleshooting on some operations, like atmospheric electrical discharges detection, switching regulated power supplies, audio frequencies, etc.