Efficiency: the Court of Auditors bowl Italy, Lithuania and the Czech Republic

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Resources spent badly, lack of green certificates, non-achieved targets: these are the results of the audit in the three European countries that have received more resources

by Francesca Fiore 

Target missed and money poorly spent. And 'This is the opinion of the European Court of Auditors, which has rejected the energy efficiency measures implemented through EU funds from Italy, Lithuania and the Czech Republic after the audit in the three Member States which have received more in economic terms for the energy efficiency measures 2007-2013. In particular, Italy has received € 874 million, in the last 5 years.

Special Report Rs 21/2012, "Effectiveness in terms of cost / benefit of the investments of cohesion policy in the field of energy efficiency," was intended to verify whether the conditions had been created to make useful investments in energy efficiency and if the projects in public buildings were actually completed in an efficient manner.

The audit reveals that the interventions were carried out, but not with the purpose of financing: maintenance or renovation, which do not have much to do with energy efficiency. Performance on real estate are so scarce, despite Directive 2002/91/EC to improve the energy performance of buildings, the 'Energy Performance Building Directive, then replaced by Directive 2010/31/EC, disregarded for years by many of the countries of 'Union. In Italy, in particular, the guidelines on the certification of buildings were published in June 2009, although there was an obligation throughout the Union by 2007.

"None of the projects that we checked was the subject of a needs assessment nor an analysis of the potential for energy savings in relation to investments," said Harald Woegerbauer, responsible for the report. Also with regard to the recovery of the investments made, the estimates are positive: the costs were so high that the average expected repayment period is around 50 years, with borderline cases that reach 150. Such a long time to overcome sometimes the longevity of materials and buildings.

Based on these findings, the Court of Auditors has set new parameters, by making these future funding: first, adequate needs assessment and regular monitoring, the use of performance indicators comparable and transparent criteria for the selection projects; standard cost per unit of energy to spare and, above all, the maximum period for the repayment of the investment. Energy efficiency, in fact, is one of the central themes of the European strategy for 2020: the objective, for that date, a 20% increase compared to 1990 levels. A goal that, after the latest figures, it seems particularly difficult to achieve.


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