Is your congregation supposed to proceed with an energy upgrading or a seismic risk reduction? Here are the new opportunities available in Italy after the recent “Growth Decree” (n. 58/2019)

Anyone who is a real estate owner knows what a large economic effort is required to strictly respect all the several rules imposed by law, guidelines and regulations concerning this specific field: indeed, the increase of regulations brings to the corresponding increase of duties and obligations for building owners. Just as an example, we can mention the several seismic risk estimate duties, the fire escape measures, or the workers’ health and welfare duties.

In addition to legal duties, there are also several actions and measures that are inspired by convenience and suitability reasons, mostly from an economic point of view – such as energy saving measures, which are more and more sophisticated, following the evolution of new technology.

Therefore, if your Congregation needs to reduce the seismic risk of its building, or proceed with its energy upgrade, you can take advantage of new opportunities coming from the new “Growth Decree” (58/2019 law), which entered into force on 30th June 2019 and includes several changes about Eco Bonus (ECOBONUS) and Seismic Bonus (SISMABONUS), as we here below in this article. Just remember that the deadline for taking advantage of this opportunity is 31st December 2021.

First of all, let’s find out something about Seismic Bonus (SISMABONUS) and Eco Bonus (ECOBONUS):


The term “SISMABONUS” refers to a tax relief consistent in a financial deduction of a percentage of the total cost of seismic risk improving measures, concerning buildings for residential or manufacturing use.

Therefore, if you need to protect your building – and the people who live or work in it – from seismic risk, you should consider this opportunity.

In particular, it is important to remind the legal duties coming from law 81/2008 -Workplace Health and Security Statement-, which imposes that each “workplace building”, no matter if it is private or public property, must be declared safe and stable, in all its parts, after a complete risk analysis. As a consequence, if you own a building that houses workers or which is designated as a school, a hospital or any other working activity, you must remember to have a building engineer certifying that it respects all the legal standards.

The tax relief changes depending on the final result that is obtained, on the geographic area, and on the kind of building.

In particular, concerning the percentage of financial subtraction, we point out that:

  • the deduction will correspond to 80% of the total cost, if the final result sets the decrease of the risk from a class to the one next below; the deduction will be up to 85% of the cost, if the final result sets the decrease of the risk from a class to the second next below; and

  • the maximum limit allowed is € 96.000,00 for each building.

For further information, we recommend the Italian Financial Agency’s guidelines, last updated in July 2019: SISMABONUS: le detrazioni per gli interventi antisismici. (in Italian).


The term “ECOBONUS” refers to a tax relief connected to buildings’ energy efficiency measures.

For example, if you aim to save money on your energy bill and make a smart and ecological choice, you have the opportunity to get a tax deduction concerning the costs linked to the following interventions: heating system improvements (such as insulation measures, new flooring, windows, doors etc.); placing solar panels on your building’s roof in order to produce electric energy; replacing obsolete heating system that consume too much energy; and home automation measures such as multimedia devices of heating system’s distance control, which will allow you to check out your house’s energy amount consuming even when you are outdoors.

In particular, concerning the percentage of tax deduction, we point out that:

  • the deduction amount can vary from 50% to 85% of the total cost, depending on the intervention’s characteristics. The tax relief includes both energy saving measures and professional services directed to their realization, which also provide the required energy certificate; and

  • the maximum limit allowed is € 40,000.00 for each building.

For further information, we invite you to consult the Italian Financial Agency’s guidelines, last updated in July 2019, about general building renovation, which also includes energy efficiency measures: Ristrutturazioni edilizie: le agevolazioni fiscali (in Italian).


Let’s now analyze in detail further advantages provided by the “Growth Decree”:

  1. the tax relief – linked to seismic risk improvement and update, including building’s demolition and reconstruction – has been extended to all those geographic areas with seismic risk classified as 1, 2 or 3. This change means that practically the entire national territory is admitted to the incentive; and

  2. direct invoice reduction for both ECOBONUS and SISMABONUS: this means that for both kind of interventions it is possible to choose between tax deduction or a direct reduction of the amount due to the enterprise that provided services or materials.

Direct invoice reduction: how to get it

What do you need to do to get the direct invoice reduction? First of all, before you choose an enterprise to work with, you have to make sure that this is able to apply the reduction, as not all companies – especially the small ones – are able to make direct invoice reduction. Anyway, you should be aware that the enterprise that applies the reduction will get it back in the form of a financial credit during the following five years.

A provision of the Financial Agency of 31 July 2019 (in Italian) explains in details the incentive’s procedures, in particular timing and deadlines: : if you choose the direct invoice reduction, you have to communicate it to the Italian Financial Agency by 28th February of the following year – from when you supported the costs allowing you to get the relief. the benefit.


  • a total saving up to about €136.000,000 if you get both reliefs (ECOBONUS and SISMABONUS);

  • the Congregation admitted to the tax relief can choose to get a direct reduction on the total cost of the interventions or the materials, instead of a financial deduction. The reduction will correspond to the percentage of financial deduction (and it will not exceed the total costs maximum limit noted above);

  • after the improving measures, your building will increase its value by up to 20% of its previous price;

  • ECOBONUS measures provide a relevant reduction of energy consumption related to heating or air-conditioning system;

  • SISMABONUS provided improved safety for your building.

If you are interested in further information, you can contact us to the following email address: and we will put you in touch with our professional team of engineers, lawyers and architects, for a specific analysis of your particular case.

Avv. Federica Loreti