Historical trends and current state of heating and cooling degree days in Italy

Mattia De Rosa, Vincenzo Bianco, Federico Scarpa*, Luca A. Tagliafico

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Degree days (DD) represent a versatile climatic indicator which is commonly used in the analysis of building energy performance, as e.g. (i) to perform energetic assessment of existent and new buildings, (ii) to analyze the territory energy consumption, (iii) to develop scenario analyses in terms of energy consumption forecasting, and so on. Different methods can be used for determining the DD values, depending on the available climatic data of each location. In the present paper, the simplified methods based on reduced climatic data set have been compared assuming the mean daily degree-hours method (MDDH) as reference. Hourly temperature profiles recorded by the meteorological station located at the University of Genoa have been used for these analyses. In the second part of the present work, the ASHRAE method has been selected to calculate heating (HDD) and cooling (CDD) degree days for several Italian cities. In particular, daily meteorological data of several Italian cities (covering the whole climatic conditions which occur in Italy) have been used to calculate heating and cooling degree days in the period 1978-2013, in order to analyze their trends in the last years. Finally, the historical profiles of Rome and Milan have been treated as time-series and analyzed in the frequency domain, performing a decomposition of the original data set into different characterizing components. This simplified approach permits to deeply analyze the historical profile of DD and represents a simple starting point method for future analyses with forecasting perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-335
Number of pages13
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Early online date04 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Building
  • Climatic trend
  • Consumption forecasting
  • Degree days
  • Energy demand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Fuel Technology
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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