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Energy Efficiency

In the EU, energy use in buildings is responsible for approximately 40% of EU energy consumption and 36% of carbon emissions. Yet, 75% of European buildings are energy inefficient. Buildings have an essential role to play in reaching the EU’s carbon neutrality and energy-efficiency objectives.

It is often assumed that energy-efficient buildings are more fire-safe than their predecessors. Still, when renovating using innovative energy-efficient solutions and an increased share of renewables, the inherent fire risk increases. This can compromise the fire safety of users. We must renovate holistically: the occupants’ safety and wellbeing are crucial, and the process of enhancing buildings’ energy efficiency should not weaken fire safety aspects. Renovations are an opportunity to increase both energy efficiency and fire safety. We believe that:

  • Taking a holistic approach to energy efficiency, which accounts for fire safety, is vital to ensure people’s well-being and safety.

  • Renovations are an opportunity to capitalise on investments by simultaneously increasing energy efficiency and fire safety.

  • It is crucial to minimise potential fire risks when choosing technologies or materials to increase buildings energy efficiency.

  • Further research is required under Horizon Europe to assess and prevent the potential fire risks associated with green buildings materials, technologies and systems.

That’s why Fire Safe Europe has been working towards the inclusion of fire safety and fire resilience in the Renovation Wave Initiatives, like:

  • The 2021 Revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive;

  • The 2021 Revision of the Renewable Energy Directive;

  • The 2021 Revision of the Energy Performance of Building Directive.


EPBD Revision: A Crucial Opportunity for Sustainable Buildings

Fire Safe Europe (FSEU) welcomes the revision of the Energy Performance Building Directive (EPBD) proposed by the European Commission, as a steppingstone towards improved energy efficiency of European buildings. Coupled with the recast of the Energy Efficiency Directive, the European Union has now a crucial opportunity to improve fire safety for people and society.

In light of this, Fire Safe Europe puts forward several proposals to better integrate fire safety into the EPBD and ensure the long-term resilience of the EU building stock, amongst which:

  • Fire safety should be a mandatory indicator in the template for national building renovation plans of EU Member States – with detailed reporting requirements;

  • Member States shall take the necessary measures to inform citizens on the different methods and practices that serve to enhance fire safety while improving the energy performance of buildings, especially for vulnerable households;

  • Member States shall put in place inspection schemes or alternative measures including digital tools, to certify that the delivered construction and renovation works meet national fire safety regulations;

  • Guidance and training to construction professionals should also address fire safety;

  • Renovation passports should also include guidance and information on how to improve fire safety;

  • Member States should offer technical assistance on fire safety for building owners and tenants wishing to install PV panels, heat pumps, recharging points, batteries etc.


Eugenio Quintieri, FSEU’s Managing Director, commented: “The revision of the EPBD will shape the present and future status of our homes as well as the well-being of many generations of European citizens. We cannot lose this key opportunity to enhance fire safety on our road to reduce carbon emissions: the sustainable buildings of tomorrow must be fire safe and resilient”.


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