Prepared by Energy Team
It has recently been published in the Official Gazette (“Gazzetta Ufficiale”) the Decree September 1 2020 of the Ministry of Economic Development (the “Decree September 1”) which regulates “the terms of implementation of the intervention in support of energy efficiency and sustainable territorial development works carried out by municipalities” in accordance with Article 30, paragraph 14-bis of the Decree Law of April 30, 2019, no. 34 (“Decreto Crescita”).
Specifically, Article 30 of the Decreto Crescita ( “Contributions to municipalities for energy efficiency and sustainable territorial development”) provides for the allocation of state funds in favour of municipalities in order to implement projects on (a) energy efficiency, including interventions aimed at the efficiency of public lighting and energy saving of public buildings and (b) sustainable territorial development, including safety related interventions for schools, public buildings and portions of the historical heritage. In addition, paragraph 14-bis of Article 30 of the Decreto Crescita, focusing on the economic and territorial development of small Italian municipalities (ie municipalities with less than 1,000 inhabitants), provides further subsidies for the implementation of projects related to the energy efficiency and sustainable territorial development activities referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 30 of the Decreto Crescita. In order to achieve the goal, Euro 37 million in grants have been allocated for the year 2020 that, divided for the 1,940 municipalities with less than 1,000 inhabitants, equal to an amount of Euro 19,320.89 per municipality. In this regard, Article 3 of the Decree September 1 identifies the interventions that fall within the scope of the above-mentioned subsidies and the relevant conditions for the granting. In particular, Attachment 1 of the Decree September 1 (here-attached for convenience) contains a list of eligible works that includes interventions aimed at improving efficiency of public lighting and the energy saving in public buildings and public housing and interventions for the installation of systems for the production of energy from renewable sources. It should also be noted that the funds can be granted only on condition that (a) a public, private, national, provincial or European funding has not already been obtained, (b) the interventions are additional to those already planned in the municipality budget for the current year and (c) the commencement of the works occurs by November 15, 2020. Moreover, according to the third paragraph of the Article 3 of Decree September 1, maintenance, mere supply or design activities which are not directly related to the works performed are not eligible for the subsidies.
Article 4 of the Decree September 1 clarifies that the funds that can be granted to each municipality are equal to the costs actually borne by the same and, in any case, not higher than the amount established in the allocation decree (decreto di assegnazione). If the costs are higher, it will be up to the individual municipality to cover exceeding costs. However, the contribution may be cumulated with public funding obtained after the Decreto Crescita.
Furthermore, Articles 5 and 6 of the Decree September 1 regulate the proceeding for the granting of the relevant funds. In particular, the Ministry verifies the information received from the municipalities by means of certified mail (pec) in order to certify the commencement of the works and assesses the amount of the first share of funds granted ( 50% of the costs of the works within the limits of 50% of the contribution identified by the allocation decree (Article 5, paragraph 3, Decree September 1)). The second share, equal to the difference between the costs actually borne and the funds already received is paid once the completion of the works is correctly verified through the monitoring system provided under the Legislative Decree no. 229 of December 2011 and governed by Article 7 of the Decree September 1.
It is worth noting that according to Article 30-bis of the Decreto Crescita (“Regulations on school buldings”) local authorities that are granted state fundings may purchase goods and services through Consip S.p.A. and may ask for support from the Agenzia nazionale per l’attrazione degli investimenti e lo sviluppo dell’impresa Spa-Invitalia in the tender proceeding relating to the construction works. The latter must publish the tender documentation (atti di gara) within 90 days from the delivery of the finalized projects by the local authorities. Should the tender documentation not be published within the mentioned deadline the local authorities are allowed to proceed through a negotiated proceeding in consultation (procedura negoziata con consultazione) even in relation to works of an amount equal to or higher than Euro 200,000 and up to the threshold set under Article 35, paragraph 1, letter a) of the Public Procurement Code (Codice dei Contratti Pubblici).
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