In 1989, in a meeting held at Milan offices of ABB Sace, Adolfo Formica from Nuova Magrini, Franco Pardini from CGE, Luigi Ricossa from BTicino and Mauro Marchi from ABB Sace had the idea of setting-up an association for the certification of industrial low voltage equipment with mission to reduce the cost and time of certification.
From 1990, Alberto Scarpa, brought his significant contribution thanks to his long-standing experience of leadership in the Italian Naval Register and represented the nascent association in meetings with other European certification bodies: the English ASTA, the French ASEFA and the newly-formed German association ALPHA; these meetings led, in 1991, to the signing of a mutual recognition: LOVAG.
At the date of signing, ACAE was recently constituted with the participation of five members: ABB, BTicino, CGE, Nuova Magrini and RINA, with headquarter in Genoa.
The first statute of the association, in the absence of a standard regulatory certification bodies (EN 45011 is dated 1999), was based on existing experience with the scope to obtain the recognition of non-profit association by the ministry of Industry.

The first Chairman of ACAE was Giovanni Rebaudengo from RINA and the General Secretary, Alberto Scarpa.
Being a non-profit association would have given the advantage of having honorary members from different sectors with voting rights and balanced representation involvement.
The process for ministerial recognition was long and demanding and the statute had significant changes, with recognition as non-profit association in 1994 thanks to hard work and perseverance of Sergio Giani, CFO of ABB Sace.
In 1994, ACAE began with certification activities and issued n° 20 certificates; number of certificates issued grew up rapidly, reaching in 1997 almost n°100 certificates per year. In 1998, Andrea Cogliolo from RINA was appointed as Chairman, a position he still holds today.

In January 2001, ACAE’s headquarter was transferred to Bergamo. Mauro Marchi replaced Giovanni Rebaudengo after three years of running the secretariat.
The transfer of the headquarter in Bergamo was the key factor for growth, thanks to its proximity to main customers and the easily availability of experienced staff.

Accreditation of ACAE, by Sincert, as certification body operating in the field of low and high voltage equipment was the significant event of year 2003. It gave the possibility to certify products of ENEL Distribuzione S.p.A and Terna S.p.A. bringing in three/four years the high voltage at the same level than the low voltage certification.

In 2007, Roberto Grimaldi from ENEL Distribuzione S.p.A. became part of the certification commission of ACAE, i.e. the committee for safeguarding impartiality that oversees the application of certification procedures and the work of ACAE.
Components of the first Gas Insulated Switchgear of Terna S.p.A were certified by ACAE in 2010.

In 2013, Virginio Scarioni took on the position of General Secretary.

In 2015, ACAE started a new scheme for the issue of licenses on medium and high voltage high efficiency transformers.