The Role of Businesses in the Ecological Transition

The recommendations for Italy issued by the European Commission on May 23 last underline that the energy efficiency strategy for the building sector is mostly based on temporary measures, but to accelerate progress towards the 2030 objectives , a medium-long term strategy would be needed. a term that can also involve businesses , through stronger energy efficiency measures , in particular for industry.

In this regard, it is worth remembering that in 2020, based on Terna data, electricity consumption in Italy was divided as follows:

●     44.1% industry (125.4 TWh);

●     30.2% services (85.8 TWh);

●     23.3% domestic (66.2 TWh);

●     2.2% agriculture (6.3 TWh).

Again on the basis of the same source, in 2020, 57.6% of the electricity was generated through non-renewable sources through the thermoelectric plants.

Within this scenario, many are thinking about the advisability of introducing structural incentives for businesses, aimed at supporting investments in energy saving and renewable energy ; furthermore, Brussels recommends using the financial resources of the National Recovery and Resilience Program (NRP) to boost green business investment.

In the perspective outlined above, at the national level, the role of companies within the ecological transition process is destined to become even more central , therefore, it is necessary to prepare for change by planning an adequate strategic path.

In order to optimally trace its strategic path of ecological transition, each company should make use of suitable methodological analysis, measurement, design and communication tools (materiality analysis, carbon footprint, GRI referenced, etc.).

At the same time, it is essential to have adequate services or monitoring tools to intercept in good time the various incentives, present or future, to support investments in energy saving, plants for the production of renewable energy or the increase in energy costs. .

With regard to this last specific issue, it is necessary to point out the important innovations introduced by the recent “ aid decree ” (Legislative Decree 50/2022).

The current rules provide for differentiated aid for:

1) energy-intensive companies (Ministerial Decree of 21 December 2017);

2) companies with power meters not less than 16.5 kW, other than energy-intensive ones;

3) gas-intensive companies;

4) companies other than gas-intensive ones.

A total of € 1.24 billion has already been allocated for energy- intensive companies for the first six months of 2022. Companies with a high consumption of electricity can access the tax credit (as per the decree of the Minister of Economic Development of 21 December 2017) , whose costs per kWh of the electricity component, net of taxes and any subsidies, have undergone an increase in the cost per kWh of more than 30% calculated by comparing the average of the last quarter of 2021 or of the first quarter of 2022 with the same period of the year 2019. In the first case, the tax credit for the first quarter of 2022 is equal to 20% of the costs of the energy component, in the second case, the rate for the following quarter rises to 25% .

Non- energy- intensive companies can obtain a tax credit now redetermined by the "aid decree" to the extent of 15% (percentage previously set at 12% by article 3, Legislative Decree 21/2022) on the cost of the energy component of the second quarter of 2022 alone , again in the presence of a growth of over 30% between the first quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2019.

The gas- intensive companies are those that operate in the sectors of Ministerial Decree 541/2021 (annex 1) and that consumed, in the first quarter of 2022, natural gas for energy uses to an extent not less than 25% of the quantity indicated in article 3, paragraph 1 , of Ministerial Decree 541, net of consumption for thermoelectric uses.

The "aid decree" grants these companies a tax credit of 10% of the expenditure incurred in the first quarter of 2022 (for non-thermoelectric uses), if the reference price calculated as the average of the intraday market prices of the last quarter of 2021 is higher by more than 30% in the same period of 2019.

For the second quarter of 2022 , gas eaters will benefit from the 25% credit (rate previously raised to 20% by the "Ukraine-bis decree") for purchases of gas not for thermoelectric use, provided that a price increase is recorded of more than 30% between the first quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2019.

Non -gas- intensive companies enjoy, for the second quarter of 2022 alone , a tax credit of 25% on the costs for the purchase of gas for use other than thermoelectric, provided that the average reference prices of the intraday market in the first quarter of 2022 exceed 30% those of the same quarter of 2019.

Tax credits can only be used for offsetting in the F24 form by 31 December 2022 .

All credits do not contribute to the formation of the business income or the tax base of IRAP, they will be transferable upon approval of compliance, according to the procedures established by a subsequent provision of the Revenue Agency.