Association for sustainable and fair energy transition through collective self-consumption


The Clean Energy for All Europeans Package (CEP), published by the European Commission in 2019, aims at fulfilling the EU’s Paris Agreement commitments. It consists of eight legislative acts, two of which – Directive 2018/2001 dealing with Renewable Energy Communities and already written into the Italian law system, and Directive 2019/9441 defining Citizen Energy Communities, to be transposed by June 2021 – are particularly significant.

The Italian Government, through article 42bis of “Milleproroghe” Decree (D.L.162/2019) – converted into law by Law 8/2020, published on 29 february 2020 in no. 51 of the Italian Official Gazette – incorporated the Directive 2018/2001  ahead of schedule, establishing specific conditions for electric energy consumers who are willing to join together into Renewable Energy Communities and Collective Self-Consumption projects. Such initiatives are supported by special incentives which are compatible with the other forms of incentives planned for residential buildings’ renovation and energy-efficiency interventions.2

As most buildings in Italian cities are residential blocks of flats, collective self-comsumption and related incentives, as well as the opportunity to set up flat-owners communities, can work as catalysts for the local and urban energy-transition process.

The following are interesting issues that are worth considering:

  • The legal status of blocks of flats and the presence of property managers supervising them – both responding to longstanding rules and practice – ensure an efficient building’s energy management.
  • It is of primary importance to persuade both the electrical designers and the flat-owners about the benefits deriving from collective self-consumption. This purpose can be achieved by resorting to simulation tools, which can provide an estimate and a quantitative comparison with the efficiency and profitability of other forms of self-consumption (such as on-site exchange).
  • Incentives’ allocation criteria – and their approval procedure – are yet to be identified, taking into account favorable algorithms (by means of BMS and/or IoT platforms) as well as the applicable legislation, with regard to the owners’ property shares.
  • “Superbonus” isn’t the only benefit: blocks of flats that cannot take advantage of the “110%” expense reimbursement (as it doesn’t apply to self-consuming systems powered by less than 20 KW) may consider the option of combining the 50% reimbursement and the incentives for collective self-consumption.
  • Building Management Systems (BMS) should be taken into consideration for a smart mangement of blocks of flats that undergo retrofitting and energy-efficient renovations.
  • The installation of a ventilated facade system by a third-party service provider that will consequently benefit from a significant share of the incentives may be a suitable option, when supported by preliminary studies that compare it with a direct investment by flat-owners.
  • The installation of energy meters and control systems is the best option for monitoring the residents’ energy consumption.

Flat-owners would potentially have so much to gain from converting their block of flats into a collective self-consuming one; they nonetheless need help and competent advice in order to make the best choice among so many options on the market and to play a conscious role in the energy transition and in the sphere of green economy.

The Association for sustainable and fair energy transition through collective self-consumption was born with the intent to fulfill that purpose and aims at the following goals:

  • Charging the flat-owners with a pivotal role in the upgrading of the residential building stock, helping them to get access to the incentives provided by the Italian legislation ruling the transposition of European directives.
  • Supporting the enhancement of the Italian residential building stock by upgrading facilities and equipments to high quality and performance standards that can lead to a lower consumption of fossil fuels and a higher energy efficiency, and can reduce climate-change emissions as well as create healthier and more livable indoor spaces.
  • Promoting retrofitting interventions on buildings, reduction of climate-change emissions and further steps in the energy transition of urban environments, for the “Manifesto of Energy Communities” supported by the Energy Center of Turin’s Politecnico (Polytechnic University).
  • Encouraging virtuous cooperations and the adoption of innovative business models aiming at valuable economic, social and environmental solutions, by fostering an equitable and local redistribution of the benefits brought about by the energy transition.
  • Actively supporting the application of transposition regulations to Directives 2018/2001 (RED-II) and 2019/944, also cooperating with the sector’s supervising organizations (GSE, RSE, ARERA, AU…).
  • Promoting renewable energy communities (CER) and collective self-consumers (AUC) in compliance with the Italian legislation ruling the transposition of Directive RED-II, which focuses4 on residential buildings (blocks of flats, multiple blocks of flats, renewable energy communities of collective self-consumers).
  • Promoting citizen energy communities in compliance with the Italian legislation ruling the transposition of Directive 2019/944.
  • Promoting research on innovative models for energy efficient residential buildings and providing additional services for heating, cooling and energy flow mangement systems.
  • Participating to the design, development, testing and fruition of distributed generation governance models, as well as new technologies meant to spread the use of renewable energy.
  • Cooperating in research studies on renewable energy sources.
  • Supporting studies concerning local energy planning – also benefiting5 different local authorities – promotional activities for local energy policies, pilot projects that promote renewable energy sources and relevant support service.
  • Organizing events to report results and achievements.
  • Promoting national and international partnerships, both in the public and private sector, to support the Association’s initiatives.