Federico Musazzi is the Secretary General of Assoclima and has been a member of the Eurovent Commission since 2020. For our ‘Faces of the Eurovent Commission’ series, Federico shares his insights on the Italian HVAC associations Assoclima and Assotermica, and the discussion on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive in Italy.
Federico Musazzi has a long experience in associations. With an initial start in his career at an ICT company, he has spent the last 15 years with increasing responsibilities in various associations. He is the General Secretary of Assoclima and Assotermica, which represent the Italian HVAC sector within the national umbrella association ANIMA Confindustria. The two associations give him the possibility to manage the complexity of this sector with two different approaches, which, to his personal view, are complementary. Assoclima is more oriented towards electrification, while Assotermica promotes a multi-technological approach with a strong focus on gas technologies. We asked Federico about the mission of Assoclima and the implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive’s requirements in Italy.
What is Assoclima and what are its main focus points?
Assoclima is the Italian association that represents manufacturers of air treatment equipment and systems. It was founded in 1964 and today has over 70 member companies, 7.500 employees and a turnover of around 2,2bn EUR. In recent years, the association has grown a lot, thanks to the primary role that our sector has in the field of decarbonisation. For this reason, Assoclima’s main activity is focused on energy transition, understood as a set of different activities. The ultimate goal is to create an adequate framework to achieve ambitious goals of energy efficiency, increase of renewables and reduction of emissions.
In this sense, Assoclima has a solid technical background, and our secretariat works daily in the national standardisation committees together with the manufacturers’ delegates. Furthermore, there is an important advocacy activity because the strong evolution of the legislation implies the need to establish a permanent collaboration with decision-makers. Naturally, the knowledge of the market is of utmost importance, and, in this respect, we have a very active department which provides data on a regular basis.
Another important part of our activities is the relationship with the other stakeholders, in particular with the representative associations of designers, installers and retailers, with whom we have set up a permanent table with the aim of discussing the progress of the legislation and adopting common positions. Today, the activities are wide-ranging and also include the need to train professionals and to strengthen communication on the high potential of the HVAC sector in terms of environmental sustainability and economic growth. As an engineer, I am happy to have the opportunity to measure myself in many technical aspects because our sector is rapidly evolving and there are so many technologies that contribute to increasing comfort and air quality, that is necessary to be constantly updated.
What are the current discussions in Italy regarding the implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive?
The ongoing discussion on the new Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) confirms that buildings are at the centre of the energy transition. They are responsible for about 40% of total consumption and over 36% of total emissions, and the fact that the EU wants to promote a ‘renovation wave’, is a good thing. We also have to consider that in most cases, refurbishment of the existing HVAC system is the cost-optimal way to improve the energy performance of the housing unit and achieve a higher energy rating, so this could be an opportunity for our industry.
On the other hand, it is not yet clear how the Member States will finance this restructuring because it is difficult to think that all the costs of these interventions will be covered by the private end-users. For this reason, the discussion at the moment has been focused on these aspects while some other elements have been left out. I am referring, for example, to the importance of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) on which we are working very hard.
However, we are confident on this point too. In fact, if we consider that one of the objectives of the new EPBD will be to make EPCs much clearer, more reliable and more visible, with easy-to-understand information on energy performance and other key characteristics, we cannot consider that IAQ will not be part of these indicators. In any case, the considerations around EPCs confirm what is usually said, that the problem is not the availability of technologies but the awareness at different levels of all the possibilities of making efficiency. Finally, I hope that the EPBD is another important step towards smart buildings where the consumer will become a ‘prosumer’ with an even more central role in the difficult path of decarbonisation.
Founded in 1964 as the Union for domestic manufacturers of equipment and systems for air treatment and turned into the association as it is today in 1992, Assoclima represents over 50 companies and 7.500 employees. The association works independently within the framework of ANIMA, the Italian umbrella organisation uniting national associations of mechanical and engineering industries. Its Working Groups are actively involved in both the national and European legislative process, covering, amongst others, air filters, fans, cooling towers and heat exchangers. Assoclima’s main focus lies on innovative development, energy consumption reduction, and responsible use of refrigerants. Moreover, the association is actively involved in development of standards within the bodies CEN, CENELEC, ISO and IEC, product certification, and the development of Italian testing laboratories.
About the Eurovent Commission
Eurovent’s Member Associations are represented in the Eurovent Commission, which is Eurovent’s steering committee. The Eurovent Commission does not only define the general political guidelines of the association, but also monitors and mediates the activities of its subordinated Product Groups. It also serves as a forum for exchange of information and cooperation between the Member Associations. The Eurovent Commission ensures that Eurovent positions are always broadly representative of wider European interests across all sizes of enterprises. The Eurovent Commission elects a Chairperson for a three-year term and appoints a Vice-Chairperson for a one-year term according to a rotating schedule. Both are automatically members of the Eurovent Board.