The new Italian budget Law 147 from December 2013 also includes important chapters on renewable energy and energy efficiency regulations. The law extends both the 65% tax deduction for energy efficiency measures and the 50% tax deduction for building renovations until the end of 2014. From 2015 on, the deductible share of both schemes will gradually decrease to 36%. The law also anticipates the revision of the new incentive mechanism for renewable heating systems and energy efficiency measures (Conto Termico). In addition, energy authority GSE revised the implementation rules of the Conto Termico programme at the beginning of December 2013, but Italy’s associations complain that the new incentive scheme is still struggling to take off due to excess bureaucracy.
The new regulations related to the tax credit programmes of the so-called “Legge di stabilità”, Law No. 147, in detail:
Tax deduction for energy efficiency measures in existing buildings
- The deductible share will remain at 65% until 31 December 2014 (for blocks of flats until 30 June 2015).
- In 2015, the deductible share will be reduced to 50% (for blocks of flats, the deduction will be 50 % between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2016).
- From the beginning of 2016 on, the deductible share will be down to 36% (for blocks of flats by 1 July 2016).
- The expenditure cap will remain unchanged and amounts to EUR 60,000.
Tax deduction for building renovations
- The 50% deduction has been extended until 31 December 2014.
- In 2015, the deductible share will be reduced to 40%.
- From 2016 on, only 36 % can be deducted.
- The expenditure cap is fixed at EUR 96,000 and will remain unchanged until the end of 2015; in 2016, it will be reduced to EUR 48,000.
The financial law also includes regulations concerning the Conto Termico programme. The incentive mechanism entered into force on 3 January 2013 and the related decree stipulates that the first revision would have to be carried out after 2 years, in January 2015. Law 137, however, now says that the new incentive programme will already have to be revised by 30 June 2014 "according to criteria of technological diversification and innovation and consistent with the goals of rehabilitation of public buildings provided for by Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency".
The Conto Termico administrator, energy authority GSE (Gestore dei Servizi Energetici), published a revision of the implementation rules at the end of 2013 (see the attached PDF). The important amendments in the 149-page document state
- the possibility to transfer the grant from the purchaser of the solar thermal system to a third party, for example, a bank. The grant can be transferred to another entity only if the entity has been formally approved in advance by the GSE and if the total incentive amount has been approved, too.
- further requirements related to the accounting documents: The invoices stating the costs of the solar water heater and the bank transfers showing the payments must be handed in.
- new requirements and simplification measures regarding EN 12975 / EN 12976 and Solar Keymark certification for collectors and factory-made systems.
One year after having gone into effect, the new incentive scheme is still struggling to take off. The number of incentive applications is around 3,000 (most of them for solar thermal systems). And while there are specific rules for each subsidised technology (solar thermal, biomass and heat pumps), Italy’s associations are unanimously emphasising the need to simplify the application process and to make the PortalTermico, which applicants must use to apply for the incentive, faster and more user-friendly.
This text was written by Valeria Verga, Secretary General of the Italian solar thermal association Assolterm.