Energy savings

Energy saving certificates and co-generation  

In Italy, for around a decade, a very advanced legislative framework (Italian Ministerial Decree dated 20 July 2004 and Italian Ministerial Decree 21 December 2007 supplemented by Italian Legislative Decree No. 115/2008) has existed, which pushes operators in the energy sector to achieve increasingly challenging and demanding energy saving initiatives. In the period between July 2004 and 31 December 2011, energy savings for more than 13 million toe (ton of oil equivalent) had been certified in total by the Gas and Electricity Authority, thanks to the white certificates system.

White certificates, also known as “Energy Efficiency Certificates” (TEE), are tradable instruments which certify the achievement of energy savings in the end use of energy by means of measures for increasing energy efficiency.

On 28 December 2012, an interministerial decree introduced new national quantitative energy savings objectives to be achieved between 2013 and 2016, on a consistent basis with the National Energy Strategy (SEN) issued by the Italian Government in view of the European objectives as of 2020.

In this context, Acea has taken steps to endow itself with its own ESCO, Acea Reti e Servizi Energetici, to seize the various opportunities offered by energy savings market. In 2012, certified savings were achieved for 101,798 toe.

Chart No. 34 - Energy saving targets assigned to Acea Distribuzione, surplus tees produced (2010 – 2012)  


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The main savings initiatives addressing the public, achieved in previous years, concerned: the direct distribution of low energy consuming light bulbs – CFL (50%); the direct distribution of vouchers for the free allocation of low energy consuming light bulbs – CFL (22%); the direct distribution of flow reducers for the saving of domestic hot water (18%) and other initiatives on inverter-motors, public lighting, etc. (10%).

The activities which Acea Reti e Servizi Energetici is responsible for include the design and construction of tri-generation plants99which produce electricity, heat and refrigeration, in a combined manner. In 2012, the subsidiary company Ecogena managed 6.3 MW of co-generation power and scheduled a series of new ventures to be achieved in Rome, in the neighbourhoods of EUR, Cinecittà and Laurentino.

99 Co-generation, in other words combined production of electricity and thermal energy, makes it possible to achieve high efficiencies: between 80 and 90%. Tri-generation is a particular application allowing use of part of the thermal energy recovered to produce refrigerating energy in the form of refrigerated water for air conditioning or industrial processes.

Energy efficiency within the Acea Group 

The objective of containing its energy consumption by means of an effective recovery of efficiency in the processes handled, is considered to be a priority by the Group. Accordingly, numerous energy efficiency measures have been achieved, which above all else concerned the companies in the water area. The following chart shows the results obtained in 2012, greatly superior to those scheduled.

Again in the water area, mention should be made of the activities launched in 2012 for the implementation of Energy management systems as per the ISO 50001 standard. Acea Ato 5, operator of the SII in the province of Frosinone, has already obtained certification of its system, one of the first in Italy to do so.

Chart No. 35  – Water companies: overall progress of the energy efficiency plans (2012)


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With regard to energy audit activities, the Group carries out inspections regularly care of its plants. In particular, during 2012 A.R.I.A. carried out an energy audit care of the San Vittore del Lazio plant identifying certain improvement action which will be implemented in 2013.