About this good practice
The EU Energy Efficiency Directive introduced in 2012 the obligation for large enterprises to carry out an energy audit every four years. In Italy, that obligation was implemented by D.Lgs. 102/2014, which required energy audits to be carried out by certified energy experts including Energy Service Companies (ESCO) and Experts in Energy Management (EGE – Esperto in Gestione dell’Energia).
To be allowed to sign energy audits, since July 2016 EGE need to be certified by a third-party accredited body according to UNI CEI 11339 technical standard.
A professional can be certified as EGE provided that he/she has a minimum experience in the energy sector of 3-10 years (depending on the degree owned) and needs to undergo a process that includes:
-initial review of documents (training, work experience, specific activities completed, etc.)
-two written exams (a multiple-choice test and an open-question);
-one oral exam (five open questions);
-annual verification of activities performed.
A professional can be certified as EGE for the Industrial and/or the Civil sector; in case of certification for both sectors, the three above steps are carried out for each sector.
The availability in the consulting market of certified EGE increased the level of quality of produced documents (energy audits and other reports), generating on one hand an increased access to market for certified experts, and on the other hand providing clients more reliable data to invest in energy efficiency.
The resources needed in terms of effort and economic cost for the development of the certification scheme are not available.
From the end-user perspective, the cost can be estimated as 300-500 € per sector for the initial certification and around 100 €/year per sector for the annual renewal.
Evidence of success
As of 2021 there are in Italy 1674 EGE, certified by one of the 16 accredited certification bodies. According to a survey carried out by Accredia, EGE reported that following the certification they have achieved:
-better professional reputation - 48%
-increase in market visibility - 32%
-improvement of competencies - 11%
-easier access to tenders - 10%
Only for the compliance with the Italian implementation of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, 25000 energy audits were carried out so far.
Potential for learning or transfer
This certification scheme is considered a good practice because it might constitute the reference for the creation of a new international certification scheme for LCA experts, in order to guarantee a high-quality of the LCA studies and create new opportunities for skilled professionals working in the LCA sector.
The proposed certification scheme could be articulated similarly to EGE scheme into different macro-sectors (e.g. Buildings, Industry, Transport, etc.) and require a minimum number of years of experience and of similar projects delivered as well as to undergo an exam with written and oral tests.