The energy crisis cannot be solved appealing to common sense and virtuous behaviour of Italians. Cortexa, the Italian reference for constructions external insulation systems, declarations are alarming. This association project was set up in 2007, with the inclusion of the most important companies in the construction sector. On the other hand, all buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions in Europe, that represent one of the main opportunities for energy efficiency and pollution reduction. External insulation systems would be strategic and indispensable for Italy’s ecological and energy transition.
Energy crisis, wastage is the real problem
Astonishment is the first reaction for this issue treating in political and media discussions. “As Cortexa‘s Communication Commission Coordinator” says Alessandro Monaco, “I am deeply struck by the communication approach adopted in recent weeks by the organisations and institutions dealing with energy, as well as in political and press communications, which in addition to announcing a probable forced reduction supplies for citizens’ homes, they suggest virtuous behaviours to Italians in their daily lives, such as eliminating the standby state of household appliances in favour of switching them off completely.
These suggestions are very important and I am sure that most Italians were already adopting them before the current energy crisis, which started at the beginning of the year and was largely underestimated. What is completely missing in this communication, however, is reminding to develop a national energy plan to solve the problem of energy dependency, together with a solid strategy, to reduce energy consumption, which, in the construction sector, primarily involves the energy efficiency of the building envelope with a “coat system”.
Turning the problem from fossil to renewable energy sources is not a solution: whatever the source of supply, in order to achieve real savings, it’s necessary to reduce waste. The only sustainable energy is the saved one“.
Energy crisis, buildings alarming situation
The Italian building stock situation is very alarming from the energy consumption and environmental impact point of view. Most buildings construction (around 78%) date back to time when no real energy saving measures were adopted, i.e. before Law 373 of 1976.
Moreover, according to the European Commission’s Observatory’s on energy poverty survey, in 2018 in Italy:
- 14.1% of households stated that they were unable to keep their homes adequately warm;
- 4.5% were unable to pay their bills on time due to financial difficulties;
- 13.6% of households cut energy costs because they were unable to pay them.
These indicators, facing with current energy crisis, will get worse, resulting in further problems and health costs caused by unhealthy living spaces.
Italy is one of the European countries with the highest energy dependence on foreign countries, with a security and competitiveness impact on the quality of the energy system (dependence on non-EU imports exposes Italy to possible fuel price shocks, which are reflected in electricity prices and which we are experiencing these days) and environmental sustainability (we depend on fossil fuels foreign sources, causing dangerous gas emissions).
Energy crisis, the possible solution of insulated buildings
The external insulation system production requires lower energy amounts for life savings. To show concrete savings examples, Cortexa has considered cases of application of this Coating System with savings calculation according to current legislation on heat emission limits for vertical and horizontal walls (Annex E, “Technical Requirements” Decree 5/10/2022). Savings are considerable, according to the type of building. The savings amount achieved varies depending on exposed surfaces to volumes involved. Greatest savings are most evident in coldest climates zones.
“Increasing buildings energy efficiency is crucial,” says the Cortexa President, Andris Pavan, “in this time in history, when rising energy bills and energy dependency on foreign countries are creating conditions for an energy poverty increase in Italy and consequently, insufficient heating and lighting levels for an acceptable living standard.
A Coating external System, according to strict quality criteria (as a kit by a single manufacturer with ETA certificate and CE marking), well-designed and professionally installed could be the solution. It must respond to UNI TR/11715, UNI 11716 and Cortexa Manual criteria. In this way, the heating insulation performance will be preserved over time and consequently the central-heating bills will be considerably reduced. Further benefits will be the living space healthiness and the value of the property increase. In this context, it's essential to enable Italians to take full advantage of the 110% Superbonus, with eliminating the problems associated with credit transfer".