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  • Writer's pictureLuigi Bagorda

Energy Performance Certificate (A.P.E)

We hear a lot about the Energy Performance Certificate, commonly called A.P.E.

But what is it and, above all, when is it needed?

What is the Energy Performance Certificate

Energy performance certification is an assessment procedure that determines the energy consumption necessary to maintain certain environmental conditions inside a property.

It is a document that must be drawn up by a qualified technician.

It must be an independent entity and extraneous to the various design and construction phases of the building.

During the inspection phase, the following aspects must be taken into account:

  • architectural features of the building

  • prospects

  • climate zone

  • orientation

  • type of heating system

  • other factors that can affect energy consumption.

Based on the characteristics and conditions of the property, an energy class is assigned with a letter ranging from A4 (maximum energy saving) to G (least energy saving).

When is needed?

Certification is mandatory for:

Transfer of ownership of properties for consideration (purchase, sale, exchange): must be attached to the rest of the documentation requested by the notary.

Lease and rentals: when registering the rental contract, the declaration by the lessor of having received all the information and documentation of the energy performance certification must be included.

All real estate advertisements for sale and rental, with any means of communication (newspapers, magazines, real estate portals, etc.).

New buildings: at the end of the works the builder is obliged to deliver the APE to the Municipality together with the rest of the documentation, which must be drawn up by an energy certifier

Major renovations: those interventions that concern more than 25% of the surface of the building envelope are considered as such.

Public buildings and buildings open to the public with a surface area exceeding 250 m2.

In all cases where changes are made to the heating and air conditioning system or structural changes (new fixtures, addition of external thermal insulation, etc.).

When is not needed

For the transfer of real estate ownership free of charge (inheritance, donation), there is no obligation to draw up the APE and, therefore, in such cases no sanction is foreseen.

Garages which are usually without a heating system

Warehouses if deprived of heating system.

The Energy Performance Certificate is valid for ten years.

Require a new certification if in the meantime there have been changes to the heating and air conditioning system or structural changes that may alter the energy performance level of the real estate unit.


The sanctions, in case of failure to draw up the APE when it is foreseen as mandatory, are:

From €3,000 to €18,000 to be paid by the seller in the event of transfer of real estate ownership for consideration (purchase, sale, exchange).

In the case of leases and rentals: from €1,000 to €4,000 paid by the tenant

If the energy performance is not indicated in the advertisements: from €500 to €3,000 paid by the private seller and/or the real estate agency.

In the case of new construction and major building renovation: from €3,000 to €18,000.

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