Smart cities in Italy

The latest installment of the blog series based on our smart cities in Europe, enabling innovation report takes a look at the findings on smart cities in Italy. Italy is one of the most advanced European countries in terms of smart city initiatives.

A report by the European Parliament placed Italy in its top tier of countries ranked by the number of smart city initiatives – over 75% of cities in Italy with a population of over 100,000 have at least one smart initiative.* (Click to tweet).


Italy is one of the most advanced European countries in terms of smart city initiatives. Italy is particularly advanced in its deployment of smart meters. State utility Enel has installed smart meters for more than 34 million customers, (Click to tweet) accounting for more than 90% of Italian households. This is significantly ahead of the EU requirement for Member States to install smart meters in 80% of households. There is mixed opinion on whether this has actually resulted in any behavioural changes – only 43% believe the smart meter roll-out has resulted in behavioural changes.

Italy has also made good progress in facilitating the adoption of energy efficiency systems. It has offered to private-sector households tax incentives and energy efficiency certificates (also known as white certificates) since 2004. A new legislative decree in 2014 enacting the European Directive 2012/27/UE on energy efficiency requires public administrations to increase the energy efficiency of their buildings.

Piero Viganò, Partner at Osborne Clarke, explains the impact of these initiatives on the Italian energy efficiency market.

The tax incentives and white certificates launched a decade ago have had a big impact and have resulted in Italy becoming one of the best energy efficiency markets in Europe,” he said. “This compares favourably to other European countries, where they either do not have any incentives for energy efficiency mechanisms, or, if they do, they are not that significant. There are some major elements in the recent decree that could play an important role in creating an energy efficiency market. By way of example, for the very first time the public sector is obliged to increase the energy efficiency of its buildings.

More smart cities information

Download the full smart cities in Europe report here.

*European Parliament Policy Department (January 2014), “Mapping Smart Cities in the EU”

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