The commitment to improve energy and environmental performance in public administration is essential for the development models geared towards lasting sustainability. The Public Administration (PA) in Italy, in particular, plays a key role to affirm models oriented towards energy and environmental sustainability, thanks to a wider and more innovative approach. The PA has a dual consumer/user role, public heritage, and decision maker/planner, in promoting energy efficiency at the local level, in the light of specific problems and peculiarities. For several decades, initiatives have been launched at various levels to improve energy and environmental performance in the public administration. The aim of this study is to outline, from a critical perspective, the state of the art policy makers in Italy about energy efficiency measures in public administration. There are, however, many cultural, value-related, financial, technological, institutional, and operational issues in the PA sector that limit investments in energy efficiency. It should be noted that if, on the one hand, the PA shows a lack of knowledge and is unwilling to adopt practices and systemic tools for monitoring and control, and on the other, in terms of bureaucracy, the system appears to be far too complicated and costly. The multiple benefits linked to improved energy performance would therefore require that the PA rethink their organizational and functional models, put in place more flexible and less bureaucratic forms of management and a more dynamic, pervasive, and proactive approach towards initiatives that promote energy efficiency. The research is a contribution towards identifying the driving forces behind potential systems and tools for energy efficiency in the PA, highlighting both critical elements and opportunities, and in particular, the limits deriving from the technological, managerial, and organizational options available for energy efficiency enhancement in the sector of the Italian PA.
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