Italy is the third largest EU country in terms of population (approximately 60 million people) after Germany and France; and sixth in terms of population density (approximately 200 people/km2). Italy has a high urbanisation rate, and the building sector has developed accordingly. Residential buildings represent 89% of the total Italian building stock. Building distribution varies around the country’s territory: approximately 40% of the stock is concentrated in the north. The large majority of residential buildings are multifamily units.
The regulation of the residential building renovation market dates back to the 1970s, with the First Thermal Insulation Ordinance being adopted in 1976. Since then, the regulatory framework has progressively become more comprehensive, including for instance the Renewable Energies Act (2011) and the Energy Saving Decree (2014). However, most Italian buildings were constructed during the 1960s (prior to the first energy efficiency regulation), meaning there is a strong potential market for the implementation of energy efficiency measures.
Italy’s long-term political goals include a 43% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and a 43% improvement in energy efficiency by 2030 with respect to 1990 levels. In this context, the role of the buildings sector is pivotal. A range of measures are currently in place to support the refurbishment of existing buildings to meet EU commitments in terms of energy efficiency and carbon emissions reduction. The most popular are tax rebates and white certificates.